Popular rugby referee Nigel Owens has overseen more than a thousand scrums during his legendary career, so picking an all-time forward pack proved difficult.
It was nigh on mission impossible for Owens who said: “The more I think about this, the harder the task.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to referee so many truly great players and people down the years. It’s no surprise that the majority of my picks captained their country.”
Nonetheless, only eight players could be selected, so eventually the choices had to be boiled down.
Check out his selection below.
- 1. Gethin Jenkins (Wales)
- 2. John Smit (South Africa)
- 3. Phil Vickery (England)
Jenkins: “He rarely smiles but has been a terrific player at loose-head prop. When I’ve penalised him and he’s smiled, I know I’d got the decision right!”
Smit: “He led the Springboks to success at the 2007 World Cup in France and against the 2009 Lions and is probably one of the greatest captains I have dealt with.”
Vickery: “I always had a lot of time for him, found him a decent man, a good player to referee. He wasn’t one of those who would whinge at decisions, he would accept the call and get on with it.”