We select a team made up of entirely openside flankers to see what it may look like…

15.Marcell Coetzee

The prospect of having a player with the aggression of Coetzee running the ball back from deep is truly one to get excited about.

14.David Pocock

Pocock is one of the most dynamic flankers in world rugby, and has no trouble getting around the pitch making him ideal for one of the wing slots.

13.Michael Hooper

Hooper came up through the youth ranks playing as a centre and looks at his best when barrelling through the midfield, carrying the ball for the Wallabies.

12.Francois Louw

Louw is an experienced operator, big ball carrier and defensive rock making him ideal to be the backlines linchpin at inside centre.

11.Justin Tipuric

Tiupuric has shown on a number of occasions that he has the kind of pace and ball handling skills to effectively play in the Welsh backline.


10.Richie McCaw

McCaw is just about the most experienced pair of hands in the team and has played alongside the greatest fly half of all time for the majority of his All Blacks career.

9.George Smith

Smith may not get about the field quite as quickly as he used to, however he has always had decent handling skills, and has the experience to control a game well.

8.Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe

Lobbe has experience playing right across the back row, and has pulled on the number eight shirt on several occasions so would fit in nicely.

7.Sam Cane

Cane looks set to be the All Blacks next number seven elect after the World Cup, making him ideal for playing openside in this team.

6.Thierry Dusautoir

Dusautoir has the kind of work ethic that would see him be a key player for any side, no matter which position he played.


5.Chris Robshaw

Robshaw has the kind of size and engine on him that could see him form a very effective second row partnership with Welsh counterpart Warburton.

4.Sam Warburton

Much like Robshaw, Warburton has the engine to keep going for a full 80 and provides plenty of power in the engine room of the scrum.

3.Steffon Armitage

Armitage already looks like a tighthead prop, so it’s not too much of a jump to imagine him playing in the front row.

2.Luke Braid

Braid has been unfortunate not to get more game time thanks to living in the shadow of McCaw for so many years, but still deserves a spot.

1.Sean O’Brien

O’Brien is already built like a prop, and with the nickname ‘The Tullow Tank’ it’s easy to see how he could be very effective in the front row.