Hot on the heels of last week’s Animal XV discussion, Jon Hobbs has put together the Dinosaur XV.
The discussion on that article evolved so far that the natural next step was a team full of dinosaurs, what we have here is potentially the species most suited to the beautiful sport of rugby.
Triceratops: cornerstone of the front row
Nigh on impossible to pack down against. Any opponent prop would also have to have massive spikes on the head to even entertain a scrummage. Part of an unbeatable front row.
With a skull 10 inches thick there’d be no chance of a concussion although a slightly over-exuberant pre-match huddle might cause a few team mates to get knocked out. Would enjoy the “engage” phase of the scrum especially. A favourite of Bakkies Botha apparently.
As with the tight-head, this loosie would be uncomfortable to scrum against due to the upright plates situated on the head and shoulders. Another similarity with the human front row union might be a walnut-sized brain?
There are too many options for the second row amongst a species renowned for its height. In the land of the big boys, this one was the biggest growing up to 40 feet tall to reach those looped lineout throws and steal anything the opposition might come up with.
5. Diplodocus – One of the lighter sauropods, Dips would be an excellent 4 jumper whose whipping tail could be used to destabilise opposition lifters. A bit of a soft underbelly though given that this dinosaur’s ribs are attached to the skin rather than the backbone.
6. Dino from the Flintstones
Yes, fictional dinosaurs are allowed. Dino needs to be kept on a tight leash as he’s prone to go wayward but he’ll break doors down for you all match.
With a name meaning “speedy thief” there’s no-one else who could fill the 7 berth. Enjoys hunting as part of a pack but might fall foul of modern “rucking” laws. Would certainly leave his mark on opposition bodies.
8. Tyrannosaurus Rex
The “tyrant lizard king” was the most ferocious carnivore of the lot. He would literally rip the opposition to shreds…and probably wouldn’t be the most popular in his own dressing room.
9. Dilophosaurus (a.k.a. the vicious little venom-spitting one from Jurassic Park)
There is no evidence to suggest that any dinosaurs ever spat venom but let’s pretend that Jurassic Park is factual. This little demon would be a constant nuisance to opposition back-row and could blind the ref if necessary.
A lesser-known dinosaur but the smartest of the lot with the largest brain to weight ratio, possessing intelligence higher than most animals of its time. Ideally suited to the fly-half role having large eyes and a keen sense of hearing.
Regarded as the fastest land dinosaur, this bird-like being had a brain thought to be specifically geared towards kinesthetic co-ordination, or running!
This tank of a dinosaur would be an ideal 12 in the Ma’a Nonu mould. With a massive club on the tail, the opposition midfield could be taken out in one blow.
13. Earl Sinclair from the “Dinosaurs”
Weight issues might dictate a sub’s place for the front row but he’s too similar in looks to Mike Tindall to be put anywhere else.
Technically not a dinosaur but recent eligibility law changes allow us to pick this flyer on the wing. Habana might be able to outrun a cheetah but would be picked off easily by our speedster.
15. Denver the last dinosaur – The only choice for the last line of defense, Denver would be there if all his team mates were to mysteriously disappear. Plus he’s my friend and a whole lot more.
Referee: Doyouthinkhesawus – Yes, joke dinosaurs are allowed. This one-eyed dinosaur was last seen refereeing Richie McCaw against the Boks.
Team Manager: Richard Attenborough as John Hammond in Jurassic Park – The only man able to control this hoard of unruly beasts, albeit for only a short amount of time.
Director of Rugby: Steven Spielberg.