DREAMTEAM

The Rugby Paper - - Views - MIKE DENBEE, THE OLD ELTHAMIANS AND FOR­MER LON­DON WELSH BACK ROWER, CHOOSES THE BEST XV HE HAS PLAYED WITH OR AGAINST...

1. Alec Hep­burn – Known for his ten-yearold train­ers and lum­ber­jack shirt but has a hell of a skill-set and work-rate. Great to see him do­ing well for Ex­eter and Eng­land. 2. Gra­ham Dawe – Picked me up from univer­sity at Ply­mouth and gave me my first pro chance. Great to play with a leg­end and even at 50 he was com­ing on and beat­ing up young hook­ers!

3. Lew Brown – At 33 he’s one of the old chug­gers with me at OEs but he’s re­ally come of age and has been fan­tas­tic all sea­son. My player of the year, with­out a doubt.

4. Dan Tuohy – Hard man who learnt his trade with me on the

mean streets of We­stonSu­per-Mare be­fore play­ing for Ex­eter, Ul­ster, Ire­land, Bris­tol and now Stade Francais.

5. Ben Gul­liver – Great leader and a very clever li­ne­out for­ward who took me un­der his wing at Ply­mouth. Hard man who put his body on the line.

6. Ed Jack­son – I’ve just done the Snow­don walk with him. Drank and smoked like a train but one of the fittest men I knew at Lon­don Welsh. In­spi­ra­tional

re­cov­ery from his spinal in­jury.

7. Carl Kir­wan – I be­came sec­ond choice when he ar­rived at Welsh. Bril­liant bloke, hum­ble hard-worker who stuck his nose where oth­ers wouldn’t dare. 8. Jan­nie Born­man – Hard-nosed, hard-run­ning South African at Ply­mouth who’s gone on to have a bril­liant ca­reer at Cas­tres. Hits hard and is an un­be­liev­ably heavy ball-car­rier.

9. Tyson Keats – Hap­pygo-lucky Kiwi who en­joyed his beer and Jager­bombs but was a bril­liant player, al­ways snip­ing around the scrums and had a wicked skill-set. 10. Car­los Spencer – Gra­ham Dawe handed me my Ply­mouth de­but against Northamp­ton in 2007/8 and said: ‘Do your best’. Never got near ‘the King’! To­tal class, so much time on the ball. 11. Chris Ash­ton – Scored 47 tries for Northamp­ton in 2007/8 and most of them were made by Spencer. Did great things for Saints, Sarries and Eng­land. 12. Felipe Con­tepomi – Ran the show for Stade Francais against Welsh in 2012, he ripped us apart. In same class as Spencer. 13. Hud­son Tonga’uiha – Nicest, qui­etest man I’ve ever met but hard as nails with it. Ran hard lines and put in some of the big­gest hits I’ve seen. Now farm­ing in Tonga. 14. Dom Le­spierre – Came to OEs from Coven­try as Na­tional 1 top try-scorer, re­peated it in Na­tional 2 last year and is at it again now. Mas­sive man, speed to burn and a bril­liant fin­isher.

15. Jack Now­ell – Ex­eter blooded him in the An­gloWelsh Cup and he ripped us to pieces. His foot­work and hard run­ning were far too much.

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