Ross Skeate’s Perfect XV

The former Sharks, Stormers and Toulon lock names a team of the best he played alongside and against.
15 Gio Aplon

The ultimate gamebreaker and often punched way above his weight in defence. Was such a relief knowing Gio was your fullback. (Honourable mention – Rory Lamont – completely fearless and a sight to behold in full flight.)

14 JP Pietersen

A great man and player. Just as solid on defence, under a high ball or scoring tries.

13 Tana Umaga

The legend himself. Could steal the ball on the ground and step defenders all day long. Another great human off the pitch.

12 Sonny Bill Williams

I started at Toulon at the same time as Sonny, and watching how he evolved into rugby XV from start to finish was astounding. Extremely gifted.

11 Cedric Heymans

My XV wouldn’t be complete without some French flair, and no one embodies that more than Heymans.

10 Jonny Wilkinson

An amazing flyhalf. Great kicker, immense big match temperament and a great defender to add to the overflowing skill set.

9 Fourie du Preez

I played a lot of age-group level rugby with Fourie and even then he oozed rugby smarts and class. I’ll always remember loving and hating his box kick!

8 Schalk Burger (c)

The most natural born rugby player I’ve come across. Was born for the game and the game was better off for it.

7 Jerry Collins

He would eat Chuck Norris for breakfast.

6 George Smith

There wasn’t anything Georgie couldn’t do on the field. Great to have in your side and a nightmare to play against. (Honourable mention – Luke Watson, an amazing rugby player and phenomenal leader.)

5 Andries Bekker

So much talent and athletic ability. Could run like the wind and steal lineouts at will.

4 Paul Willemse

Another big man, all power and athletic ability. Great work rate for a big rig and I can’t ever remember seeing him lose a contact situation.

3 Census Johnston

The man mountain, all raw power and athleticism. Great scrummaging tighthead and a strong ball-carrier.

2 Bismarck du Plessis

An easy choice, powerful and aggressive. Wouldn’t only carry and
dominate collisions but would also dominate in the scrum and throw beautifully at lineout.

1 Tendai Mtawarira

An excellent Springbok and an extremely versatile and mobile loosehead. Just as humble and hardworking off the pitch as on it.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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Dylan Jack