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Sir Ian McGeechan selected his all-time England XV, big names missed out – Page 3 of 3
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Sir Ian McGeechan selected his all-time England XV, big names missed out – Page 3 of 3

#SECOND ROW:

Martin Johnson: A colossus of the game, Martin Johnson embodied leadership and determination. Born on March 9, 1970 in Solihull, England, he led England to their historic Rugby World Cup victory in 2003. Johnson’s imposing presence, both as a player and as a leader, commanded respect on the field, making him one of the most iconic figures of rugby. .

Maro Itoje: A modern rugby phenomenon, Maro Itoje is a force to be reckoned with. Born on October 28, 1994 in London, England, he quickly rose through the ranks to become a key player for England and the British and Irish Lions. Known for his athleticism, aggression and versatility, Itoje’s impact on the game continues to grow, earning him accolades as one of rugby’s brightest stars.

McGeechan on Itoje: He has eliminated many of the avoidable penalties and now that England are up against them you are seeing the best of him. Against Ireland this year, for example. Ball carrier, spoiler, competitor, excellent line-out operator and also very good hands. Also a natural leader. Maturation.”

McGeechan on Johnson: “I don’t think there will be many people who will argue against this choice. Martin was one of the greatest leaders the world of rugby has seen and his career was absolutely extraordinary.”

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#BACK ROW:

Richard Heuvel: A versatile and tenacious back-row forward, Richard Hill was a linchpin in the England pack. Born on 24 May 1973 in Hillingdon, England, he earned 71 caps for England and played a crucial role in their 2003 Rugby World Cup victory. Hill’s tireless work rate, defensive prowess and leadership qualities made him an essential asset to any team.

Neil Back: A ruthless and dynamic open-side flanker, Neil Back left an indelible mark on English rugby. Born on January 16, 1969 in Coventry, England, he earned 66 caps for England and played a key role in their successes, including the 2003 Rugby World Cup victory. Back’s ability to disrupt opponent possession and support play, made him a standout player in the back row.

Lawrence Dallaglio: Lawrence Dallaglio, a powerhouse number eight, was a driving force behind England’s triumphs. Born on August 10, 1972 in Shepherd’s Bush, England, he earned 85 caps for England and led them to victory in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Dallaglio’s physicality, ball-carrying ability and leadership qualities made him a formidable presence on the field, which teammates inspired and intimidated opponents.

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You can read Sir Ian McGeechan’s full article for The Telegraph by clicking here.