No Richie McCaw. No Dan Carter. No Jonah Lomu. Welsh rugby scribe Stephen Jones is at it again.
The veteran opinion writer as selected his all-time rugby XV in a piece for the Times Online and he has some interesting selections, or more noteworthy omissions.
Jones, who last month admitted the selected just two All Blacks in his greatest side – and one of them is out of position.
Prop Olo Brown and centre Frank Bunce, picked at second-five made his list. No Carter, McCaw, Lomu, Fitzpatrick to name just a few All Blacks greats who missed the cut.
“To leave out Jonah Lomu is a painful experience, especially since Lomu was almost untackleable in the 1995 World Cup, and remains the biggest nightmare for defenders that the game has ever seen,” Jones wrote after picking Campese on his left wing.
“But through no fault of his own, he was reduced considerably in power after that, whereas Campese played 101 Tests for the Wallabies and scored 64 tries, as well as adding a whole barrage of further delights in matches for the Barbarians.”
Four Welshmen made the list including recently retired captain Sam Warburton while two Aussies David Campese and Chris Latham (don‘t laugh) made the cut.
Jones explained his choice of Warburton over the likes of McCaw and David Pocock.
“He did not have so long a career as his peers at openside flanker — David Pocock, Matt Hooper and Richie McCaw won many more caps and earlier, players like Josh Kronfeld, Fergus Slattery, George Smith and several others had their supporters.
“But Warburton, when he was fully fit and firing, was as good an operator on or over the loose ball and as clever a rugby player as any back row has seen, he also re-wrote the blueprint for international rugby captaincy, with Wales and especially with the Lions.
“He had a wisdom and a vision of the game which served him well as a leader on the field and equally well now that he is turning his attention to media and broadcasting. In the strongest field, he comes out first.”
Sergio Parisse, , was picked by Jones at number eight.
Two English players made the list – Jeremy Guscott at centre and lock Simon Shaw.
Springboks, Ireland and Scotland fans could probably feel the most aggrieved. Prop Garry Pagel was the only South African to make the cut while no Scottish or Irish players were good enough.
Jones XV: 15: Chris Latham (Australia), 14 Gerald Davies (Wales), 13 Jeremy Guscott (England), 12 Frank Bunce (New Zealand), 11 David Campese (Australia), 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Gareth Edwards, 8 Sergio Parisse (Italy), 7 Sam Warburton (Wales), 6 Dan Lydiate (Wales), 5 Patricio Albacete (Argentina), 4 Simon Shaw (England), 3 Olo Brown (New Zealand), 2 Mario Ledesma (Argentina), 1 Garry Pagel (South Africa).