Martin Johnson didn't hesitate when naming his top five rugby players - Ruck

Martin Johnson didn’t hesitate when naming his top five rugby players

Delving into the realm of rugby greatness, the esteemed England and Lions legend, Martin Johnson, recently embarked on the daunting task of curating his all-time dream team of players.

With a career adorned by triumphs and accolades, Johnson’s rugby acumen stands unparalleled. In a nod to the unsung heroes of the scrum and lineout, he meticulously handpicked his five favourite second-rows from the annals of rugby history.

These selections, not mere rosters on a hypothetical team sheet, are a testament to the grit, resilience, and unparalleled skill that define the essence of the second-row position.

The second row forwards (also known as locks) are the engine room of the scrum and the target men in the line-out, meaning that they need to be tall, powerful players with excellent scrummaging technique and pinpoint timing.

If they bind to each other and the props too loosely in the scrum their pack will lose power, and if they are not accurate and dynamic with their line-out jumping, it offers the opposition forwards a chance to steal possession. In open play the second row’s duties have evolved from being support players at rucks and mauls to ball carriers.

Now, let’s unveil the quintet of towering titans bestowed with the honour by Johnson himself.

1. Colin Meads (New Zealand)

Colin Meads, affectionately known as ‘Pinetree,’ etched his indomitable legacy in rugby history with 55 caps as a second-row forward. Hailing from New Zealand, he became a towering figure, both literally and figuratively.

Renowned for his colossal physicality, Meads emerged as one of the sport’s all-time greats. His remarkable contributions earned him the prestigious title of New Zealand’s Player of the Century at the NZRFU Awards in 1999.

Beyond statistics, Meads embodied the spirit of rugby, leaving an enduring mark on the game and eternally symbolizing the grit and determination associated with New Zealand rugby.