Nigel Owens’ selection of the best British rugby players of all time will fit into almost any squad from any era.
Phil Vickery (England)
“I always had a lot of time for him, found him a decent man, a good player to referee. He wasn’t one of those who would whinge at decisions, he would accept the call and get on with it.”
“As a player, at his peak with Wasps during their European runs and with England in 2007, he was a formidable force.”
Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
“How can you fail to be impressed when watching Hogg play. He’s so exciting as he burst into that line and, of course, is now the Scotland captain.”
Paul O’Connell (Ireland)
“Quite simply he was just an exceptional leader. I have been in charge of games where he pretty much carried his team, whether it was Munster or Ireland, almost on his back and onto victory.
Never took a backward step, stood tall and was a man others would follow.”
Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
“A man of few words, he does his talking on the field with his actions. Not only is he a brilliant player and a very good captain but I don’t think I have reffed a match where he hasn’t given absolutely everything.
“He’s been playing at lock for 15 years and remains one of the first names on the Wales team-sheet, which says everything about his ability”
Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
“Not only is he one of the greatest centres in the history of rugby union but he’s a fantastic man off the field as well. O’Driscoll has been a wonderful ambassador for the sport and a real leader. He always respected referees and set the right example for others to follow.
Shane Williams (Wales)
“When people ask me who is the best player I have refereed it’s pretty much an impossible task to pick one because I’ve been lucky enough to take charge of so many greats.