1. David Flatman – He would get you six or nine points per game just by talking to the referee and could talk his way out of any penalties against him, too. 2. Jonathan Humphreys – I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me saying he wasn’t at his physical best when he came to Bath in the later part of his career but as a leader he was outstanding.
3. Matt Stevens – Matt was very fast for a prop and a strong ball-carrier. Strong at the scrum but could do things in the loose other props simply couldn’t.
4. Steve Borthwick – He dominated the lineout regardless of who was throwing. His attention to details was amazing to see and I’m not surprised he’s now gone into coaching.
5. Danny Grewcock – He complemented Steve well in the engine room. He was an animal and people were just terrified of him. Became a mentor in terms of my coaching career, too.
6. Andy Beattie – He did a lot of the unseen work at the breakdown and that allowed other players to flourish in the team. Every team need a guy like Andy to succeed.
7. Michael Lipman – He wouldn’t take a backward step. A good mix between ball-carrying and tackling but also a good scavenger.
8. Isaac Fea’unati – He’d complete that back row and that pack perfectly, bursting holes. His ballcarrying abilities were just unbelievable. 9. Martyn Wood – It was a tough call with Michael Claassens but Martyn was brilliant at governing his forward pack. He’d get everybody where he wanted them.
10. Butch James – I only played for a couple of seasons with Mike Catt so Butch gets the nod here. A physical fly-half who played so flat on the gain line. As a centre he was a dream to put you into space. 11. James SimpsonDaniel – He had out-and-out pace but I really liked the way he set up tries for other people. So much so that I reckon he’s got more assists than tries over his career. 12. Tim Horan – I played one of my first games against Saracens and he taught me a few lessons. No weaknesses. 13. Brian O’Driscoll – Not the biggest chap in the world but unbelievably hard to defend against. Great partnership with Gordon D’Arcy and, just like a good back rower, impossible to get off the ball at the breakdown.
14. Andrew Higgins – He was my housemate but he was also a very good player. Incredibly strong and very intelligent despite not getting the recognition he deserved. He was fantastic. 15. Nick Abendanon – Close one with Matt Perry but Nick is one of the best attacking full-backs around. He should definitely have had more caps before going to Clermont. On his day he’s unstoppable.