"St David's Day Special" - Ultimate XV: Wales Legends - Page 2 of 3 - Ruck

“St David’s Day Special” – Ultimate XV: Wales Legends


10. Barry John (25 caps, 1966-72)

9. Gareth Edwards (53 caps, 1967-78)

Donned to have ‘played rugby from another world’, Barry John’s generational talents were truly ahead of there time. With seamlessly interlinked passes and a third eye for spotting space, John would weave his way in an out of helpless defenders, or thread the ball through the eye of needle to send a teammate in to score. Sadly passing away at the beginning of February, John’s legacy lives on in all those who followed him, with Dan Biggar resembling a modernised iteration of the great out-half. Predating most of the Welsh legends that arrived in the Golden 70s, JPR only enjoyed a brief run with John, yet called the fly half his greatest ever teammate.

Reforming their partnership of the late 1960s, Gareth Edwards is our pick to wear the number nine shirt in this dream team of Welsh legends. With a breath-taking ability to supply the ammunition, Edwards had a true talent of firing out quick ball at a blistering rate of knots. Edwards’ athleticism never gave the opposition a break, and often caught them on the back-foot following such a quick speed of phases. Edwards could go it alone as well, and duly holds the accolade of scoring what is known as the ‘Greatest Try Ever’, as he finished of a move from the Rugby Gods, in an exhibition match for the Barbarians.


1. Gethin Jenkins (129 caps, 2002-16)

2. Bobby Windsor (28 caps, 1973-79)

3. Adam Jones (95 caps, 2003-14)

Onto the front row now, and we begin our picks with the man that is regarded as the best loose-head prop to ever pack down a scrum. Wales’ second most-capped player in history, Gethin Jenkins was a pillar of the Welsh pack for the best part of a decade and a half. Jenkins was revered across the globe for his no-nonsense approach to the game, and won three Grand Slams with the side. Upon his 105th test cap he became Wales’ all-time appearence holder, but this record was since surpassed by a soon to be named lock. Jenkins still holds the honour of being the all-timed most capped prop forward, after he surpassed England legend Jason Leonard’s record for his 119th appearence.

At hooker we have selected Bobby Windsor, with former Wales captain Ken Owens narrowly missing out for a seat amongst the replacements. When you get bestowed the nickname of ‘the Duke’ by your teammates, you are certainly a respected figure both on and off the pitch. Windsor was certainly that and battled up front in the fabled trio with Graham Price and Charlie Faulkner. A steelworker by trade, Windsor scored a try on his Wales debut, and helped achieve a memorable win against Australia in 1973. Windsor surpassed Jeff Young to the number two jersey that day, and held the starting spot for the next six years throughout the ‘Golden Era’ of Welsh rugby.

In on the tight-head we have gone for Adam Jones, who is one of Welsh rugby’s most instantly recognisable stars from the turn of the new Millennium. Frequently propping alongside Duncan Jones, the duo were known as the ‘hair bears’ due to their stature and impressive locks. A battering ram around the park, Jones’ efforts in the loose were impressive for a front row of the time. An educated scrummager who new all the tricks of the trade, Jones’ knowledge has been passed on following his retirement, as he teaches the likes of Fin Baxter and Joe Marler, as Harlequins’ scrum coach.