Witty even by scrumhalf standards, during journeyman Nic Groom’s 10-year career he taunted tight forwards from Newlands to Murrayfield, and here he picks a team made up of the best he played with or against.
1 Steven Kitshoff
I met him when he was 17. He was good then and he has been a star ever since. Big, strong, skilful and a huge engine.
2 Malcolm Marx
This guy can do things on the field that I can only dream of. Standout player in the world when he was at the Lions. Great synergy with Kitsie, especially off field.
3 Carl Hayman
Consistent, powerful. A real presence in the front row. Sings a better than average version of ‘The Gambler’, which is massive on the team bus.
4 Bakkies Botha
Someone I could comfortably hide behind. Also provides the boerie which is handy.
5 Courtney Lawes
One of the best athletes I have played with. Covers more ground than some backs in games and can play 80 minutes week after week. He has also deleted numerous 10s.
6 Schalk Burger
Picks himself. A beast on the field, even better off it. Social chair.
7 Richie McCaw
Only played against him twice, but what a player. Sean O’brien on my bench. Both class.
8 Louis Picamoles
King Louis. Gave every fan at Franklin’s Gardens their money’s worth with almost every touch. Spoke no English, which was interesting when the ball was at the back of the scrum.
9 Antoine Dupont
Reinventing the 9 game. Played against him when he was a young kid at Castres. Scored one of the finest doubles off the bench I have ever seen.
10 Dan Carter
Classy, gutsy, a winner.
11 Bryan Habana
The ultimate pro and one of rugby’s greatest finishers. Between him and DC, they are looking after the boys with freebies from sponsors.
12 Sonny Bill Williams
You are getting pretty much the full skill set with him at 12. I suppose half decent in a scuffle as well.
13 Rob Horne
Raw emotion and passion in every game. Will happily do all the dirty work among all the galacticos. A true fighter and a top bloke.
14 Cheslin Kolbe
There is no one like him with ball in hand. Hopefully he can translate for Louis.
15 Ricky Rijs
The Ikeys fullback bounced the first defender in every carry for 46 consecutive games. If anyone has seen him, please inform the wider UCT Rugby community of his whereabouts.