Fantasy Rugby: England’s Footballers XV

Following the tedious, disappointing and lacklustre performance by the national football side on Tuesday, we thought we might see if their skills could be better used for our oval ball game.  John White and Nick Heath thought this is how they could line up:

1. Emile Heskey – a massive donkey that belongs nowhere else but the front row.  Would be dragged out of retirement as his international goal scoring rate fits in well with the try scoring expectation of a modern day loose head

2. Wayne Rooney – Hooker. Bulldog spirit, piercing stare – oh who are we kidding, we just saw the word Hooker, pffffft.

3. Titus Bramble – The big boned centre half has been a rock in central defence for Wigan, and will look to do the same for his new club Sunderland – and everyone knows that the tight head is the rock in every rugby team.

4. Peter Crouch – at 17 foot tall, Crouchy will be a real weapon in the line out, with the lifters having no issues gripping onto his spindly legs.

5. Rio Ferdinand – a stalwart who likes to get stuck in. Rio will hit every ruck and his height provides a nice option at 4 in the line out.  Might have problems with 80 minutes though.

6. John Terry – solid and dependable in defence, but can also come out and attack with vigour. Has a tendency to speak out to refs, which will need to be nipped in the bud.

7. Michael Dawson – strong, big lad with a strong Yorkshire temperament. Quick enough to be first at the rucks to clear out.

8. Frank Lampard – solid, dependable, and weighs a lot. Sorry, weighs in with some crucial points. Gets around the park and has the nous to play link man between backs and forwards.

9. Jermaine Defoe – sharp, small and quick of pace and will make the most of even a sniff of an opportunity.

10. David Beckham – his range of passing and grit in the tackle flag him as Wilko-esque, let alone his precision with the boot when aiming at the sticks.

11. Theo Walcott – pace pace pace. If he can get Arsene to stop holding his hand, he’ll be a flyer.

12. Adam Johnson – prepared to run at a man but also good on the pass/offload.

13. Steven Gerrard (C) – Tindall-esque square shouldered centre, leads by example.  More scars on his knees than Tinds has on his face.

14. Shaun Wright-Phillips – a pacey attacking threat who loves running at defences, key for the counter-attack but would need quick support in contact as only about 7 stone.

15. Joe Hart – beats David James to this role by being younger so hopefully pacier.  Good under the ball and a solid custodian at the back. Doesn’t panic when one on one with attackers.  Real name ‘Charles Joseph John Hart’ – rugby through and through.

Also rans:  Joe Cole – loves taking people on but possibly not big enough to figure; Gareth Barry – could be too outspoken for Johnno and is a bit hit or miss; Darren Bent.  Yep.

Who would you pick?  Any other international football sides you think could give these guys a run for their money?  Leave your comments below!

Check out the other articles in our Fantasy XVs series – there are plenty more!

9 thoughts on “Fantasy Rugby: England’s Footballers XV

  1. Aaron Lennon at 14. Definitely see Beckham at 10. I reckon Tom Huddlestone could fit in the centres pretty nicely.

  2. This is ridiculous: love it!

    Have to say, would like to see Rio switched to 8 – reckon he’d like to get his hands on the ball, and have a couple of ideas. Lamps could cover 12, with Johnson moving to the wing in place of SWP and Terry moving into the 2nd row; Kevin Davies should be promoted to 6 or 7 (I’m giving this far too much thought…)

    Better still, let’s bring Steve Howie, Razor Ruddock and Steve Bruce out of retirement; one could prop, with the other two moving into the engine-room

    Then let them face the proper ABs, take a battering and hide their faces away in shame forever

  3. Rory – absolutely love your commitment to this. Obviously, an all-time England or all-star international side is a consideration. England wise, I’d let Gazza into inside centre to create and step like a madman. Lineker on the wing? Terry Butcher at 7? Too much to think about!

  4. Have to say, loving the thought of Becks running back towards his own tryline trying to escape the clutches of McCaw and Kaino.

    Rather reminds me of the story (some time ago, this – early 90s) a friend told me of when he had to spend 79 mins of a cup game running away from his opposing 7 after tw*tting him as hard as he could in the first ruck, on the instructions of his captain.

    Think the plan was that the opposing 7 – known by pretty much everybody other than my mate as the hardest and scariest psychopath playing at that pretty high level at the time – would go nuclear straight off, and get himself sent off, with teammates stepping in before any serious damage could be done.

    Being the cold-blooded loon we all fear coming across though, he instead stalked my pal for the remainder of the game in the manner of a Great White hunting a seal. There are said to pictures, from the local rag, of play moving one way, and my mate sprinting in the other, with the mentalist – eyes rolled-back bellowing a blood-curdling (if pics had sound) war-cry – chasing head-long after him. I can think of no scene that I would like McCaw, Kaino and a reluctant Becks to recreate more…

  5. Big problem with this. I couldn’t possibly consider a footballer due to my concerns with their lack of understanding of what it really takes to be a winner. Don’t insult Richard Hill by considdering John Terry in the same breath as a professional on and off the field.

  6. You maybe thinking that Bellamy & Berghamp are not English but they would be eligible to play under RFU laws

  7. Can we do this in reverse, please? i.e. an England Rugby XI

    I see Backy taking a midfield, terrier, bite-yer-legs sort of role in the middle of the park, with the Prince of Centres ponceing around alongside him as a playmaker. Jonno and Wade Dooley as no-nonsense centre-backs, with Mooro at right-back. Jonny on the left-wing. Er, can’t think of a left-back – Micky Skinner, just for comedic brutality value? One of the Underwoods on the right-wing, with Daws and Simon Shaw up front. Definitely Moody in goal – he’d be diving at people’s feet with his face, wiping out strikers in 50-50s, launching himself at crosses without a thought for his personal safety or for that of those around him… Jon Webb as physio

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