The Ospreys have teamed up with the Evening Post to find the ultimate Ospreys XV "â¬" the all-time dream team based on players who have represented clubs within Ospreylia throughout the many golden (and not"â¬"so golden) eras of Welsh rugby. Read on...
OSPREYS DREAM TEAM
The Ospreys have teamed up with the Evening Post to find the ultimate Ospreys XV "â¬" the all-time dream team based on players who have represented clubs within Ospreylia throughout the many golden (and not"â¬"so golden) eras of Welsh rugby. Next month, the Post will be asking supporters to select their own personal all-time best Ospreys side, and the individual whose team is judged the ultimate Ospreys dream-team by our panel of experts will win VIP hospitality for the first home Magners League fixture of the season against Llanelli Scarlets, and a pair of season-tickets. Four other entries will be drawn at random to win a pair of season-tickets.
To help you decide, we have turned to three rugby legends from the region to select their own dream team, which will be revealed over the next three weeks before you have a chance to pick your own. First up is former
"â¬ÅLooking through the list of ex-internationals to have represented clubs in the Ospreys region, it really is something of an impossible task. There are so many quality players in every position; it"â¬â¢s been tough getting it down to just fifteen. I"â¬â¢m sure that some of my selections will create discussions and not everyone will agree with my picks, but I"â¬â¢ve chosen what I think is an Ospreys dream team.
"â¬ÅWe"â¬â¢ll start at fifteen as it"â¬â¢s the easiest selection, JPR WILLIAMS, the greatest full-back not only of my generation but any generation. He went on two successful Lions tours and was part of a hugely successful Welsh side; he was the rock on which that success was build.
"â¬ËOn the wing I"â¬â¢ve opted for another seventies great and a player from the modern era, in JJ WILLIAMS and GARETH THOMAS. JJ was the consummate winger. Blessed with blistering pace he was always looking for an overlap and was the perfect outlet in the days when rugby was all about moving the ball out to the winger. Alfie has played his way into the record books as our most capped player and top try scorer and is the complete opposite of JJ, his success coming from his power and strength allowing him to bully his way past people and over the line.
"â¬ÅIn the centre I"â¬â¢ve gone for SCOTT GIBBS and STEVE FENWICK, two similar sorts of players in many ways who would complement each other. They both read the game well and had good hands, as well as being able to take the physical contact, while Steve also provides a place kicking option.
"â¬ÅThe outside-half would have to be JONATHAN DAVIES, who was a joy to watch with the ball in hand, both in union and league when he went north. Coming from the Max Boyce "â¬Ëoutside half factory"â¬â¢ mould, it's such a shame that we lost him at the peak of his career, but he was still able to enjoy some success in a Welsh shirt before the move.
"â¬ÅScrum-half was possibly the toughest choice, with great players from all the eras, I could have gone for Robert Jones, Rob Howley or Chico Hopkins, but in the end, I opted for ONLLWYN BRACE. I never saw much of him play, so I suppose I"â¬â¢ve picked him on reputation as I couldn"â¬â¢t separate any of the modern day scrum-halfs.
"â¬ÅI"â¬â¢ve gone for STUART EVANS and GLYN SHAW as props, two different types of players, and we lost probably their best years when they went north. Stuart was a colossus in the front row who never took a backward step on the rugby pitch while Glyn was immensely strong and like lightening around the pitch, helping the Welsh team to play flowing rugby.
"â¬ËIn between them I"â¬â¢ve chosen JEFF YOUNG, who I played with for London Welsh and
"â¬ÅThe second row is the perfect combination of ALLAN MARTIN and GEOFF WHEEL. Geoff has immense strength and was excellent at rucking and mauling while Allan would rule the line-out. They complemented each other perfectly and their performance together for
"â¬ÅMy back-row is DAI MORRIS, RYAN JONES and RICHARD MORIARTY. When Dickie was converted from a second row to a number 8 he found his true vocation and his performances for
"â¬ÅI think Ryan epitomises the professional era of back row forwards, comfortable in any of the three positions.
MERVYN DAVIES"â¬â¢ OSPREYS DREAM TEAM
15 JPR Williams (Bridgend)
14 Gareth Thomas (Bridgend)
13 Steve Fenwick (Bridgend)
12 Scott Gibbs (Neath/Swansea/Ospreys)
11 JJ Williams (Bridgend)
10 Jonathan Davies (Neath)
9 Onllwyn Brace (Aberavon)
1 Glyn Shaw (Neath)
2 Jeff Young (Bridgend)
3 Stuart Evans (Bridgend/Neath/Swansea)
4 Allan Martin (Aberavon)
5 Geoff Wheel (
6 Dai Morris (Neath)
7 Ryan Jones (Ospreys)
8 Richard Moriarty (