5. John Eales (Australia 1991 and 1999)
No-one thought that such a lanky string-bean of a bloke could become one of the world’s best, and he was famously called “the arty farty student” by Wade Dooley. What he lacked in weight, he made up for by being a great athlete with a huge appetite for hard work – and, if that wasn’t enough, he also took over the goal kicking.
4. Martin Johnson (England 2003)
An amazing leader who consistently performed well. Johnson pushed the boundaries to the limit, not just in terms of the laws of the game, but also in terms of what was expected from second row forwards. He got better and better at lock as his career went on, and there was never a game when he did not play with total commitment.
3.Phil Vickery (England 2003)
Big and mobile, he helped to re-write the script for modern props. He always did his job in the scrum, but he was at his best around the field as a ball-carrier and tackler. He made a big impact as part of a great England front row trio alongside Steve Thompson and Trevor Woodman.
2. Sean Fitzpatrick (New Zealand 1987)
Showed his ability and his confidence when, as a young man, he kept Andy Dalton, a former All Black captain, out of the New Zealand side. A truly gritty competitor who never seemed to have a poor game, or get injured. He always found a way to stay at the top and get an edge.
1. Steve McDowell (New Zealand 1987)
McDowell was the super-fit prototype for the modern prop, and others followed where he blazed the trail. His trademark was scrummaging opponents into the ground and then getting around the pitch like a back row forward.