The former Springbok and Stormers tighthead prop picks a team of the best he played alongside and against.
15 Christian Cullen
He was the most graceful runner and could tear up the defences from his own 22. Also solid in defence and under the high ball, he was the type of player all admired.
14 Rupeni Caucaunibuca
Speed, power, massive legs and hands, and a clinical finisher. The only professional-era wing who could go head-to-head with the tight five at a hog roast.
13 Danie Gerber
I was privileged to initiate Danie into the Maties team when I was 21 and he was 36. It is indicative of his athleticism and feel for the game that 25 years of professional rugby since his retirement could not produce such a dominant and graceful outside centre.
12 Tim Horan
He had wonderful vision and distribution skills and could run incredible lines to put opposition backlines in all kinds of trouble.
11 Jonah Lomu
In his prime he was a phenomenon. He wiped the floor with me in a case of mistaken identity after Braam van Straaten gave him a couple of head knocks.
10 Dan Carter
He personified cool, calm and collected under pressure. He had the skills of a kicking flyhalf but he was catalyst for the most revered attacking backline for more than a decade.
9 Fourie du Preez
He had huge big-match temperament and won the trophies to prove it. He transformed the way scrumhalves controlled games with attacking and strategic kicking and was the most feared Springbok player by the All Blacks.
8 Tiaan Strauss
A legend with whom I trained with as a youngster and later played Super and Springbok rugby against. One of the best No 8s from the back of the scrum with the speed and feet of a centre and could tackle a wildebeest.
7 Andre Venter
The man who could instil the most fear into opposition. He had such presence and intensity before a Test, I tried to stay out of his way from the Friday until the final whistle.
6 David Pocock
The master of the breakdown and more legitimate than most practising the dark art. Great players are the ones you rather want to have playing with you than against.
5 John Eales
The personification of class. He transformed lineout formations and dynamic lineout moves to produce 100% possession for a dominant era of Australian rugby under his leadership.
4 Martin Johnson
A strong man who was an inspirational leader and dirty as hell. Dedicated to the set piece and dominance of the contact areas and didn’t stand back to anyone.
3 Patricio Noriega
An imposing human being and a tighthead with a faultless scrummaging technique to match his physique.
2 Federico Mendez
He debuted for Argentina as a teenager in an infamous pack of forwards, and was a man to be reckoned with. In his prime, he was the hardest man I faced in front row
1 Os du Randt
I admire Os for many reasons. From his incredible speed and agility in the early part of his career, his memorable tackles, to his scrummaging dominance. But most of all, I admire him for the comeback he made to the top of world rugby after everyone thought his career was over.
*This feature first appeared in the latest SA Rugby magazine, now on sale!
Photo: Steve Mitchell/EMPICS via Getty Images