A friend shared a greatest ever rugby union world cup fifteen online with me recently. It got me thinking and as a result I have come up with a greatest ever Welsh world cup fifteen. The criteria includes players who have appeared in World Cups for Wales since its inauguration in 1987.
Defensively my team may be suspect in the outside half and inside centre channels. I chose Mark Ring for his creativity over Jamie Roberts solidity. Jiffy (Jonathan Davies) was never going to miss out. Offensively I’m certain this team would score heavily and entertain.
There are some notable omissions. That’s why I’ve included a subs bench where I can shoehorn some more of my favourites in. The replacements also allow for some tactical flexibility with the likes of Leigh Halfpenny’s goal kicking, Scott Gibbs direct running or Justin Tipuric’s skills with ball in hand or at the breakdown.
Gets in because he was part of the 2015 rugby world cup squad even though he didnt play in the quarter final because of injury. A silky runner who can attack from deep. Strong and courageous as well.
Magic with the ball in hand, quick feet and a great step. A great passer too and Wales record try scorer.
Proven class at the highest level. Good hands, runs great lines in attack. Solid defensively.
A maverick player who was inconsistent for Wales. Always very watchable, creative and unpredictable.
Was superb in the 2011 tournament. Strong, explosive runner with bags of pace.
Like his centre namesake, class at the highest level. Also proved himself in rugby league with a great career in that code. A creative back who scored tries and made them for those around him. Great kicking out of hand.
An elegant distributor from the base of the scrum. Scored a memorable try against England in the 1987 quarter final victory.
A real all rounder. Skills in attack as well defence. Strong at offloading out of the tackle. Will be missed this time around in Japan.
Helped Wales reach the 2011 semi finals. A real warrior. Good at the breakdown and immense defensively.
A consistent performer. Never less than a seven out of ten. Like Faletau an all rounder with few weaknesses in his game.
An excellent pair of hands in the lineout and a leader. Twice a British and Irish Lion.
Alan Wyn Jones
Another leader who has now cemented his place amongst Welsh rugby legends. A great tournament for him and Wales this year and his legendary status will grow. Shrewd and a fierce competitor.
A character which every team needs. Another warrior like Warburton, neither of whom would take a backward step.
A strong performer during Warren Gatland’s early years as Wales coach. Unlucky to miss out through injury in 2011.
Good in open play and at the breakdown. An example of a modern day prop forward. Wales all-time record holder for appearances.
Ieaun Evans, Scott Gibbs, Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny, Justin Tipuric, Gareth Llewellyn, Dai Young, Rob Howley, Scott Quinell, Ken Owens.