Sean Fitzpatrick Picks His Greatest Ever All Blacks XV Of The Last 20 Odd Years
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What a team.
Legendary All Blacks hooker Sean Fitzpatrick has had a go at picking his greatest ever New Zealand XV from the Tri-Nations and Rugby Championship, ahead of this weekend’s Bledisloe Cup opener live on Sky Sports.
In 16 Tri-Nations Championships, New Zealand won 10 titles. In six Rugby Championships to date, the All Blacks have won five of them. Their also the back-to-back Rugby World Cup champions, and unquestionably the greatest rugby nation of all-time.
But how do you pick fifteen players from such an illustrious group? Understandable a lot of big names miss out.
“Some big names are naturally left out, such has been the depth of talent in New Zealand, but some of the best old stagers combine with current performers in a quite stunning selection.” Fitzpatrick writes
Perhaps the biggest decision for Fitzpatrick was who to put at ten, with Dan Carter pipping Beauden Barrett. But he says – it required little thought.
“The half-backs required little thought, with Dan Carter and Aaron Smith regarded as two of the best in their positions, perhaps of all time.”
His biggest call as far as we’re concerned is leaving Doug Howlett out. Cullen and Lomu have to be in the back-three, but we’d take Howlett over Smith on the wing any day.
Anyway here’s his team…
Sean Fitzpatrick’s All Blacks XV: 15 Christian Cullen, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Jonah Lomu, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith; 1 Tony Woodcock, 2 Dane Coles, 3 Olo Brown, 4 Brodie Retallick, 5 Sam Whitelock, 6 Michael Jones, 7 Richie McCaw, 8 Zinzan Brooke.