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Englands Greatest Ever XV

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Post by propdavid_london Thu 27 Oct 2016, 3:05 pm

While we are doing these - would be rude not to start the home nations off

1. Jason Leonard
2. Brian Moore
3. Phil Vickery
4. Martin Johnson
5.Simon Shaw
6. Back
7. Hill
8. Big LOL
9. Dawson
10. Wilko
11. Ben Cohen
12. Will Greenwood
13.Jerry Guscott
14. Jason Robinson
15. John Callard

As I write this I realise this is the bulk of the 2003 side!

Right up there - Josh Lewsey, Steve Thompson, Bill Beaumont, Martin Bayfield, Deano, Brackon, Rory Underwood

Can be in the future - Itoje, Mike Brown, Billy V, Farrell, Joseph, Mako V

note: I know Shawsy and Johnson played the same side.

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Post by fa0019 Thu 27 Oct 2016, 3:36 pm

Peter Winterbottom is probably the best openside England had in my opinion or at least from the 80s onwards.

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Post by majesticimperialman Thu 27 Oct 2016, 3:55 pm

I think i would change Joh Callard for Josh Lucy.

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Post by fa0019 Thu 27 Oct 2016, 4:00 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I think i would change Joh Callard for Josh Lucy.

Callard must have jumped for joy when his old bath coach was named England coach in 94.... then Rowell drops him for bath reserve flyhalf, hardly ever to feature again for England. ouch.

That said Mike Catt was a supreme talent. Ticked every box and whilst a little too liberal for a world class 10 he was probably the most multi skilled back England has had in memory.

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Post by propdavid_london Thu 27 Oct 2016, 4:01 pm

Multi skilled then Peter Richards should be noted - Played pretty much anywhere

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Post by Poorfour Thu 27 Oct 2016, 4:12 pm

It's hard not to start with the 2003 squad, but you have to find space for Underwood, perhaps by playing Robinson at 15.

Catt, I think, would make the bench every time (possibly even a world bench) but wouldn't start.

The problem with all these exercises, though, is not knowing how players of previous eras would stack up, given equal opportunities. How would Stoop, Poulton-Palmer or Wakefield have stacked up in this company?
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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 27 Oct 2016, 4:16 pm

No room for Slammin' Sam Burgess?

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Post by aucklandlaurie Thu 27 Oct 2016, 4:20 pm

fa0019 wrote:Peter Winterbottom is probably the best openside England had in my opinion or at least from the 80s onwards.

Probably the first English player I think of.

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Post by fa0019 Thu 27 Oct 2016, 4:22 pm

Poorfour wrote:It's hard not to start with the 2003 squad, but you have to find space for Underwood, perhaps by playing Robinson at 15.

Catt, I think, would make the bench every time (possibly even a world bench) but wouldn't start.

The problem with all these exercises, though, is not knowing how players of previous eras would stack up, given equal opportunities. How would Stoop, Poulton-Palmer or Wakefield have stacked up in this company?

You can't, different eras, different sport, different nutrition, health, average height of populations, amateur status the lot. All you can merit players against their peers at the time.

Will Carling however much we hated him, he was a top player but at 5'9 (and maybe less) he wouldn't even get premiership rugby these days, ok perhaps slight overstatement but he and Dan Hipkiss were very similar so merit 50 odd caps, England captain for 8 years vs. Dan Hipkiss' career.

Also in amateur era many had advantages many had disadvantages...

In the old days many players came from the forces where they pretty much played as close to professional sport as possible at least training wise. Some held down manic jobs such as surgery where they'd be lucky to make it to training twice a week.

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Post by TightHEAD Thu 27 Oct 2016, 4:28 pm

George North?
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 27 Oct 2016, 4:41 pm

Englands best ie played rugby for England rather than in England.

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Post by Exiledinborders Fri 28 Oct 2016, 7:14 am

mikey_dragon wrote:No room for Slammin' Sam Burgess?
He could carry the bag.

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 28 Oct 2016, 8:57 am

I cant see how Shaw can be in there. He was a donkey at best and regularly got dropped from the side. hes a legend becuase he kept going so long and put in some immense displays of power and determination, but a guy who over a 15 year international career only made the starting line up in 44 tests and only went on one Lions tour surely cant be considered the greatest in his position of all time?
Theres no extended period where he nailed down a clear first choice spot in the side.

Obviously many of the candidates will have had periods where they dipped or fell out of favour, but for me they have to have had at least a 4 year period where they were a clear first choice starter and genuine star as well as a decent length international career.

To me Shaw was just a guy England kept going to when there was noone else available (perhaps overly harsh).

Great in terms of his ability to keep going and the length of his career into the modern era, but to me not an all time greatest England player in terms of delivering "positive outcomes" on the pitch.

Bill Beamont captained a successful England and the Lions and was an ever present in the side for the length of his (short by modern standards) international career. Id have his smug little face in there.


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Post by fa0019 Fri 28 Oct 2016, 9:09 am

Gooseberry wrote:I cant see how Shaw can be in there. He was a donkey at best and regularly got dropped from the side. hes a legend becuase he kept going so long and put in some immense displays of power and determination, but a guy who over a 15 year international career only made the starting line up in 44 tests and only went on one Lions tour surely cant be considered the greatest in his position of all time?
Theres no extended period where he nailed down a clear first choice spot in the side.  

Obviously many of the candidates will have had periods where they dipped or fell out of favour, but for me they have to have had at least a 4 year period where they were a clear first choice starter and genuine star as well as a decent length international career.

To me Shaw was just a guy England kept going to when there was noone else available (perhaps overly harsh).

Great in terms of his ability to keep going and the length of his career into the modern era, but to me not an all time greatest England player in terms of delivering "positive outcomes" on the pitch.

Bill Beamont captained a successful England and the Lions and was an ever present in the side for the length of his (short by modern standards) international career. Id have his smug little face in there.


Its tricky as in the old days it wasn't fully necessary to have a lineout captain... they were joke restarts in truth. You could have 2 Jonno type players no problem. Only when the modern rules came in did you need more of a balance with grunt and athleticism.

I mean who locked for England in last 30 years?

Dooley (IMO superior to Shaw)
Ackford
Bayfield

Pro

Shaw
Johnson
Kay
Grewcock
Palmer
Lawes
Parling
Launchbury
Itoje
Kruis

In terms of Lineout captains you're seeing Bayfield, Grewcock, Kay, Palmer, Parling, Kruis. I'd say Grewcock was probably the best of that lot. But probably would say a combination of Jonno and Dooley would be England at its most dominant.

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 28 Oct 2016, 9:14 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Englands best ie played rugby for England rather than in England.


Vunipola
Hartley
Corbiserio
Kruis
Botha
Harrison
Vunipola
Kvesic
Morris
Catt
Tuillagi
Barritt
Rokodugini
Yarde
Armitage

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 28 Oct 2016, 9:17 am

You'd want to remove Kruis if you want to play that game. You could add Shaw.

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Post by Shifty Sat 29 Oct 2016, 8:16 pm

15 Jason Robinson
14 David Duckham
13 Will Carling
12 Jeramy Guscott
11 Rory Underwood
10 Johnny Wilkinson
9 Dewi Morris
8 Andy Ripley
7 Neil Back
6 Richard Hill
5 Bill Beaumont
4 Martin Johnson
3 Phil Vickery
2 Brian Moore
1 Jason Leonard
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Post by majesticimperialman Sat 29 Oct 2016, 10:54 pm

No body seems to mention Ian Balshaw. Although maybe not one of the fastest and have the best side step in the game.

But was one of the best players in his position at that time. ( mainly full back)

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Post by George Carlin Sun 30 Oct 2016, 5:51 am

Worth digging up the results of the a thread I did 3 years ago:

I. Greatest XV Ever (as chosen by 606v2):

1. Ian McLauchlan (Scotland)
2. Sean Fitzpatrick (New Zealand)
3. Jason Leonard (England)
4. Martin Johnson (England)
5. John Eales (Australia)
6. Richard Hill (England)
7. Michael Jones (New Zealand)
8. Zinzan Brooke (New Zealand)

9. Joost van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
10. Daniel Carter (New Zealand)
11. Jonah Lomu (New Zealand)
12. Tim Horan (Australia)
13. Philippe Sella (France)
14. Jason Robinson (England)
15. Christian Cullen (New Zealand)

II. Runner-Up XV (as chosen by 606v2):

1. Os du Randt (South Africa)
2. Keith Wood (Ireland)
3. Carl Hayman (New Zealand)
4. Victor Matfield (South Africa)
5. Willie-John McBride (Ireland)
6. Juan Smith (South Africa)
7. Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
8. Lawrence Dallaglio (England)

9. Gareth Edwards (Wales)
10. Barry John (Wales)
11. David Campese (Australia)
12. Will Greenwood (England)
13. Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland)
14. Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Fiji)
15. JPR Williams (Wales)

III. My Own:

1. Os du Randt (South Africa)
2. Sean Fitzpatrick (New Zealand)
3. Graham Price (Wales)
4. Colin Meads (New Zealand)
5. John Eales (Australia)
6. Michael Jones (New Zealand)
7. Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
8. Zinzan Brooke (New Zealand)

9. Gareth Edwards (Wales)
10. Daniel Carter (New Zealand)
11. David Campese (Australia)
12. Mike Gibson (Ireland)
13. Philippe Sella (France)
14. Jeff Wilson (New Zealand)
15. Christian Cullen (New Zealand)

The point of this is that I think a number of England players should really be nailed on here - Leonard, Johnson, Robinson and Hill.

Personally, I basically agree with Shifty with only a couple of exceptions:

01 Jason Leonard
02 Brian Moore
03 Jeff Probyn/Fran Cotton (cannot decide)
04 Martin Johnson
05 Bill Beaumont
06 Richard Hill
07 Peter Winterbottom
08 Lawrence Dallaglio

09 Matt Dawson
10 Johnny Wilkinson
11 Rory Underwood
12 Will Greenwood
13 Jeremy Guscott
14 David Duckham
15 Jason Robinson

Hardest choice for me was actually Beaumont over Ackford.


Last edited by George Carlin on Sun 30 Oct 2016, 8:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Poorfour Sun 30 Oct 2016, 8:00 am

I like that selection, George. I'd probably go with Probyn, and I might be tempted to put Deano at 8 purely for the devilment of it. I don't know of another player who could control a game so completely.
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Post by maestegmafia Sun 30 Oct 2016, 12:48 pm

Shifty wrote:15 Jason Robinson
14 David Duckham
13 Will Carling
12 Jeramy Guscott
11 Rory Underwood
10 Johnny Wilkinson
9 Dewi Morris
8 Andy Ripley
7 Neil Back
6 Richard Hill
5 Bill Beaumont
4 Martin Johnson
3 Phil Vickery
2 Brian Moore
1 Jason Leonard

Carling was the inside centre Guscott the outside. They swapped jerseys because Bath RFC retired the 13 shirt.

Woodman
Thompson
Cotten
Johnson
Beaumont
Hill
Winterbottom
Teague
Jeeps
Andrew
Duckham
Greenwood
Guscott
Underwood
Robinson

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 31 Oct 2016, 3:51 am

Nice to see someone mentioned Andy Ripley instead of Lol. And no Tim Rodber....

Fran Cotton?
No David 'dai' Duckham.

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Post by compelling and rich Mon 31 Oct 2016, 9:56 am

while injured more often than not, Andrew Sheridan when fit was more than good enough to justify a mention. will never replace likes of leonard because what he achieved but on talent alone he deserved a shout

agree with op that greenwood get in team over any other centres. always thought he was underated. a shout for tindall aswell but he's probably fourth behind the big three.

bit young to remember anything pre guscott/carling era and even then i was fairly young for that era so 2003 squad will dominate mine

15 Jason Robinson
14 Ben Cohen
13 Jeramy Guscott
12 Will greenwood
11 Rory Underwood
10 Johnny Wilkinson
9 Matt Dawson
8 Lawrence dallaglio
7 Neil Back
6 Richard Hill
5 Bill Beaumont
4 Martin Johnson
3 Phil Vickery
2 Brian Moore
1 Jason Leonard


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Post by lostinwales Mon 31 Oct 2016, 10:45 am

Guscott was a legend no question, (great to watch, wonderful acceleration and that ability to make small gaps look huge) but I think he would have had found it much harder in the modern game.

I suspect that had Matt Tait been playing at that time (and had been luckier with injuries!) he'd be pushing for this list too. But then that is the nature of these kinds of lists - it's about a body of work (which can mean dodging injury and being the best for the time/ interpretation of rules etc). Pure talent and occasional good performances are not enough.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 31 Oct 2016, 10:50 am

I think Tindall, like a lot of others (Vickery?) will always be tainted by being a major part of the post 2003 decline, inclduing being capatin. He was very much one of those who took constant stick for being a dinosaur etc.

Intersting that Richards doesnt get a look in, was the Lions first choice 8 two tours running and played at 3 world cups. Just dont mention his coaching career.

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Post by propdavid_london Mon 31 Oct 2016, 10:52 am

Exactly, I would have had Tom Reese in there - was building a stunning career till injury struck, and that was end of.
Joseph is the modern Guscott - and has plenty of time to overtake Jerry if given the chance.

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Post by George Carlin Mon 31 Oct 2016, 10:52 am

All right - I am convinced about Deano.

So for me that makes it:

01 Jason Leonard
02 Brian Moore
03 Jeff Probyn
04 Martin Johnson
05 Bill Beaumont
06 Richard Hill
07 Peter Winterbottom
08 Dean Richards

09 Matt Dawson
10 Johnny Wilkinson
11 Rory Underwood
12 Will Greenwood
13 Jeremy Guscott
14 David Duckham
15 Jason Robinson
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Post by propdavid_london Mon 31 Oct 2016, 10:53 am

Deano's coaching career was pretty stellar.....barring a little blip.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Mon 31 Oct 2016, 9:46 pm

Surely Back at 6 in the original post must be a mistake.
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Post by Cyril Mon 31 Oct 2016, 10:00 pm

Josh Lewsey would struggle to make a first XV but as a backs option off the bench he has to be close. He just did so many things right.  Loved watching him during the 'glory years' and still think he's underrated as part of a stellar side. A few hightlights Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZPZLnA_HWc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsMdyjLUsxQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT6jMw1b1ls

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Post by Gooseberry Tue 01 Nov 2016, 9:18 am

propdavid_london wrote:Deano's coaching career was pretty stellar.....barring a little blip.  

Getting sacked by Tigers, Grenoble or his 3 year ban?

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Post by Recwatcher16 Tue 01 Nov 2016, 2:33 pm

As a bit of indulgent fun.
1. Sheridan
2. Thompson
3. Probyn
4. Dooley
5. Johnson
6. Hill
7. Winterbottom
8. Richards
9. Richard Hill
10. Wilkinson
11. Underwood
12. Greenwood
13. Guscott
14. Cohen
15. Perry

I am guessing but the win/ loss ratio for all the above in an England shirt would have been pretty high. Winterbottom had some lean years in England sides but back to back slams made up for it. I think I am correct in that Richards was never on the losing side in any 6N fixtures.

Not sure who in the current squad will achieve this status given attrition rates but Ford and or Farrell are possible. Being a forward at Test level is just too difficult these days.

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 01 Nov 2016, 3:24 pm

Amateurs:

1) Leonard
2) Moore
3) Cotton
4) Johnson
5) Ackford
6) Teague
7) Winterbottom
8) Richards
9) Melville
10) Andrew
11) Underwood
12) Carling
13) Guscott
14) Duckham
15) Hare

vs

Pros:

1) Leonard
2) Thomson
3) Vickery
4) Johnson
5) Kay
6) Hill
7) Back
8) Dallaglio
9) Dawson
10) Wilkinson
11) Cohen
12) Greenwood
13) Tindall
14) Robinson
15) Lewsey

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Post by ChequeredJersey Tue 01 Nov 2016, 5:06 pm

I have a limited exposure, only really watching rugby from 2000 or so and thus only seeing snippets of anything before that, but for me:

15- Lewsey
14- Underwood
13- Guscott
12 - Greenwood
11- Robinson
10- Wilkinson
9- Ellis (sadly cut short)
8- Dallaglio
7 - Winterbottom
6- Hill
5- Johnson
4- Beaumont
3- Probyn
2- Moore
1- Leonard

With a (attempted an actually useful bench re cover) bench of something like Vickery (if only one prop, plus Woodman if two), Thompson, Kay, Rees, Dawson, Catt, Cohen

No current players but I expect a few of our current bunch may press one day for a place in the side
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Post by ChequeredJersey Tue 01 Nov 2016, 5:07 pm

Maybe swap Richards and Dayglo, and Dayglo on the bench but Tom Rees just rings of lost potential Sad
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