199. Picking The Best

Mick Cleary is the chief rugby guide dog reporter for Britain’s Daily Telegraph.  Earlier this week he selected his best world XV based on the performances during the Autumn internationals.  Numerous people in the comments section have been mocking him for choosing five Irishmen, four Englishmen and just three New Zealanders (managing to overlook Savea, Read, McCaw and Retallick in the process).

The most rubbish selection of any team, in any sport, ever.

I can’t believe it is April 1st already, it seems like it was only 8 months ago.

How do you continue to employ this man? A six year old could come up with a more accurate representation of the World’s best XV! An utterly unobjective fanboy!

The person who penned this is either mad, drunk, doing it on purpose or more worryingly, all three.

In rushing to the defence of Mr Cleary – who, it must be said, labours under the misfortune of having to write for an English audience about why England keeps losing to the All Blacks – I thought I might create a similar list:

The Top XV Kings of All Time According To An Interview With My Typewriter

15. Harold (England)

Gave the Norwegian nuisance The Other Harald a really good seeing to at Stamford Bridge.  Followed that up by popping down to Hastings the next weekend and … oh, wait. (See 2.)

14. Hirohito (Japan)

Very nimble when it came to switching from immaculate god (spot of bother with the Poms and Yanks) to constitutional monarch (owning large swathes of the Poms and Yanks).

13. George (I, II, III, IV, Germany)

Excellent footwork by the British Parliament bought them a series of kings who were at a perpetual disadvantage in the power struggle because they didn’t speak the local lingo. Also, number III occasionally peed blue, sparking suspicions of steroid abuse.

12. Augustus (Italy)

Young lad who saw off his elders with guile and ruthlessness.  Add longevity and the rejuvenation of a flagging franchise, and he looks a bit like Mr McCaw.

11. Louis XVI (France)

Actually quite a nice man who liked nothing more than pulling apart watches to see how they worked. Not suited to being an absolute monarch, and lost his head during a spot of bother with the revolting masses.

10. Elizabeth I (England)

Not strictly a king because failed the “penis” qualification.  Overcame that glaring weakness by being simply the best, even if she had Blackadder and Melchett as key advisors.

9. James (Scotland)

Luckily for him he had a penis, which meant he could succeed Liz One and unite the crowns of England and Scotland.  Still arguing about the merits of that idea.

8. Alexander (Greece)

Went off on a ground-breaking world tour that established there was indeed a world.

7. Macbeth (Scotland)

Saw the gap and took it, but crunched in a mighty tackle by three witches and a ghost. Who saw that coming? (Well, Shakespeare, obviously.)

6. Mufasa (Africa)

Wisdom, courage, sacrifice. And singing, lots of singing.

5. Brian Bóruma (Ireland)

Good work in the engine room of uniting the troublesome tribes of the Emerald Isles, but came to a sticky end.

4. Elizabeth II (England)

A life of disciplined service, despite the burden of her relatives. Having Phil the Greek as consort a masterstroke in establishing the entertainment value of a flagging franchise.

3. George (Nepia, Aotearoa)

Ran rings around the locals on the all-conquering 1924 Invincibles campaign, who bowed down in awe.

2. William (France)

So annoyed with his “the Bastard” soubriquet that he popped across the Channel and became “the Conqueror” instead.  Started the long-running trope of “Beware the French when they’re playing in Britain”.

1. Arthur (Wales)

Legendary, just legendary.

About Ned Davy

By hokey, the big fella’s tipped into his 50s. A rangy loose forward in his prime, good with the ball in hand, but rarely up with the play any more.
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31 Responses to 199. Picking The Best

  1. Capt. Tinarse says:

    Best way would be 2 panels selecting the best 2 teams, one player at a time, playground style. How about I start? Julian Savea please.

    your move

  2. Capt. Tinarse says:

    You bugger. Ok. Fourie du Preez

  3. Capt. Tinarse says:

    Bismark Du Plessis

  4. Capt. Tinarse says:

    Well done. I’ll be ok with Kieran as captain.
    Eben Etzebeth

  5. Capt. Tinarse says:

    OK. Even with only 1.5 legs, still my pick. He’ll come right pretty quickly. And Cruden can’t kick.

    Saint Daniel Carter

  6. Capt. Tinarse says:

    Ben Smith

  7. Capt. Tinarse says:

    Can’t believe I left him this late… whew

  8. Capt. Tinarse says:

    Duane Vermeulen

  9. Capt. Tinarse says:

    He can play flank too. That’s how good he is. Not a bad back 3 eh cuz? Vermeulen, Messam and Reid. Heh heh

  10. Capt. Tinarse says:

    Youve still got Sam Cane, Mahoja (sp?), Louw, … also are we selecting a 15, or a bench too? Now that you’ve nabbed the only good Aussie players, it’s difficult to go beyond us and the bokkies, must admit.

  11. Capt. Tinarse says:

    Wesley Fofana

  12. Capt. Tinarse says:

    You need another winger.

  13. Capt. Tinarse says:

    And I need some props. So, next move?

  14. Cpt. Tinarse says:

    Welcome back Ned. So where are we? I’ve picked 11 of my squad, you 10.
    ME
    J. Savea, K. Reid (cpt), F Du Preez, L. Messam, B. Du Plessis, S. Whitelock, E. Etzebeth, D.Carter, B. Smith, D. Vermeulen, W. Fofana

    NED
    A. Smith, B. Retallick, I. Folau, T. Kuridrani, V. Matfield, R. McCaw (cpt), B. Habana, W. Crockett, B. Barrett, I. Harinordoquy.

    Your move!

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