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.