Tune in for the fifth instalment of Miles Harrison’s rugby fantasy land XVs as he picks a pre-1994 Golden Oldie scrum-half to take on a ‘Young One’.
- Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: The 10s
- Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 8
- Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: Full-backs
- Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 4
These are teams with players who raise the spirits, ones that get you out of your seat. This could be down to their flair, skills and speed or because of their power, strength and physical presence.
These fantasy teams are not claiming to have the very greatest players in their positions although in all cases they are inevitably truly great players, the selection is about making sure that these teams would play the most amazingly entertaining rugby that the selector could possibly dream of.
Next up, it’s the scrum-halves: Gareth Edwards. Regarded as up there with the best Wales have produced, and one of very few players to have won three Grand Slams. He also played for the British and Irish Lions on their historic 1971 tour – the only such team to win a series in New Zealand – and for the unbeaten 1974 side in South Africa.
And opposite him is former Springbok Fourie du Preez. The South African picked up 76 caps for the Boks between 2004 and 2015, was a World Cup winner in 2007 and a two-time Tri-Nations winner in 2004 and 2009.
I hope you have a great trip to Fantasy Land and that, at least for a moment or two, it takes your mind off what’s happening in the world at this time. Stay safe and healthy, Miles.
The Golden Oldie: Gareth Edwards
9. Edwards – The easiest selection in this team is the choice of this man. In my view, there has never been and probably never will be a better rugby player than ‘that fellow Edwards’, to borrow a line from another Welsh great, Cliff Morgan.
Picking players from different eras to make fictitious teams is never simple because the game changes so much over time. But, Gareth Edwards was the ultimate athlete of his time who was light years ahead of his time too and did things that made you constantly smile and gasp.
That try versus Scotland in 1972 being the perfect example. Genius.
The Young One: Fourie du Preez
9. Du Preez – I’ve had the pleasure of commentating on some great scrum-halves and there are many who have good claims here, not least the likes of Justin Marshall and George Gregan, absolute world-class both.
But, there was a significant moment in time when Fourie du Preez was almost perfect in everything that he did. To bring this right up to date, I’m loving the work of Antoine Dupont, like I did Jerome Gallion back in the Golden Oldie days. Dupont can further elevate his art to the highest of levels.
But, it is early days for a comparison to du Preez, who, over a sustained period, proved that his form was unswervingly polished and, you just know, he would deliver his silky best in this fantasy game.
Selection is by its very nature a very personal choice and, coupled with that thought, is the fact that you can’t look back over all the years and not miss a few. This is where you come in. I want your selections and for you to tell me who I might have missed and exactly why you have made your choices? @skysportsmiles
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