ALEX O’MEARA, CORNISH PIRATES AND FORMER HARTPURY WING, CHOOSES THE BEST XV HE HAS PLAYED WITH OR AGAINST...
1. Alan Paver – He’s usually a tighthead but he can cover at loosehead and I want him in my team. He’s not only a top scrummager, he knows the game inside out.
2. Chris Fortey – He was my captain during my time at Hartpury College. An inspirational player who gave his all for us despite everything he had achieved with Worcester and Gloucester.
3. Kyle Sinckler – I played for Harlequins when I was younger and Kyle was there too. He’s basically a fly-half inside a prop’s body. Amazing hands and skills.
4. Chris Morgan – He’s my captain at the Pirates and he’d captain this team too. A serious workhorse who brings confidence to the team just by being on the pitch. 5. George Sanford – He was the best player I played with while at Lord Wandsworth College. He used to play for London Irish but had to retire very young because of concussion. 6. Matt Bolwell – My Pirates teammate has no respect for his own body. Priceless impact at the breakdown and the guy you want in your team any day of the week.
7. Sam Simmonds – He’s so explosive as a back rower. Still very young but he’s been superb for Exeter this season and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him playing for England this season. 8. Ross Moriarty – He was 19 when I played with him at Hartpury but he played like a seasoned pro tackling men like they were boys. Exceptional player.
9. Kieran Marmion – I trained with Connacht for a bit and played with him for the Irish Exiles. He was the best player in that team so it’s no surprise he went on play for the Ireland Test team.
10. Billy Burns – He pretty much won us the 2014 National Two South title on his own. Moved up to the Gloucester first team since then and is doing really well. 11. David Lemi – Having played against him again this season, he’s probably the best winger I’ve faced. A good finisher and I just hate playing against him! 12. Nico de Battista – The hardest man I know. I’m lucky to be playing with such a player at the Pirates and he’s one of the best players I’ve ever come across. 13. Robbie Henshaw – Another one from my time in Ireland. A very quiet guy who’s got a great offloading game. Pleased to see him do well with the Lions last summer. 14. Anthony Watson – I came up against him at school even if he was two years younger than me. He was brilliant then and he’s showing it to everyone now on the international stage.
15. Matt Evans – He’s helped me so much on and off the field and he’s someone I really look up to. Has struggled with injury in recent months so great to have him back.