BY Teddy Parker
As this decade draws to a close we look back on some players who have made the biggest impact during ‘the 10’s’.
We have put together a starting XV of players who we feel deserve to be recognised for what they’ve achieved over the last ten years.
1 Loosehead prop: Tendai Mtawarira
Mtawarira has been a regular in the Springbok test side.
A dominant presence in the scrum who would regularly show off his explosive power in the loose – this led to fans naming him ‘The Beast’.
The Natal Sharks prop earned 117 caps for his country and in 2019 won the Rugby World Cup after a dominant scrummaging display in the final in Japan.
2. Hooker: Dane Coles
Coles is one of the best running hookers in world rugby and was integral to New Zealand’s dominance in this decade.
With deceptive pace and a fantastic handling skill-set – Coles became a fan favourite for audiences around the world.
He was one of the standout performers for the All Blacks during their World Cup triumph in 2015.
3. Tighthead prop: Owen Franks
Franks has been the pillar of the New Zealand scrum since he made his test debut in 2009.
The 122kg tighthead was one of the first names in the All Black test side that won the 2011 and 2015 World Cup.
He has made 108 appearances for New Zealand and now plays in the Gallagher Premiership for Northhampton Saints.
4. Second Row: Alun Wyn Jones
The 6’5 lock has played a pivotal role in the revival of Welsh rugby under Warren Gatland’s stewardship.
Wyn Jones’s leadership and experience helped his side to three 6 Nations victories including two Grand Slams during ‘the 10’s’.
He also starred for the British and Irish Lions in successful tours to Australia and New Zealand.
5. Second Row: Brodie Retallick
Retallick won IRB player of the year in 2014 after an outstanding twelve tests for the All Blacks.
Him and Sam Whitelock have been THE second-row pairing in world rugby in the last decade with Retallick starring in New Zealand’s Webb Ellis Cup triumph in 2015.
The 6’7 lock has already amassed 77 caps for his country at the age of just 28.