The second instalment of our from the archives feature is a little more light-hearted and harks back the days of fantasy XVs (a feature we should really get going again, so feel free to suggest any teams you’d like to see in the comments below!).
This article was first published on January 3rd, 2008 – who else would you like to see in a bearded XV?
1. David Bellamy – Comfortable in the dark and animalistic underworld of the Front Row.
2. Brian Blessed – Booming voice would ensure line-out calls were never missed. Ferocious competitor with cracking chat in the bar afterwards.
3. S. Claus – That’s right, Santa puts the Christmas cheer away and knuckles down at tight-head. Would have to discover a nasty streak not seen before but a steady diet of mince pies and sherry should give him the necessary ballast.
4. W.G. Grace – As a cricketer should have a safe pair of hands at the line-out.
5. Ned Kelly – Every team needs a lock who is not afraid to push the rules a little and Ned more than fulfils this role. Tough and nasty, Ned brings the ‘dog’ to the pack that commentators always bang on about.
6. Osama Bin Laden – Organised and deadly. Has been likened to Richard Hill at his peak in his ability to go unnoticed through a game.
7. Russell Crowe (as Maximus Decimus Meridius) – Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, The Gladiator brings a lot of intensity to the open-side. Not much fun though.
8. King Leonidas (300 guy) – Superb physical specimen with an incredible backs-to-the-walls attitude. Completes a formidable back-row. Takes his knocks well.
9. Jesus Christ – Mercurial talent although sometimes a bit soft on the opposition. Part of a solid Father/Son half-back combination.
10. God (c) – Literally nothing he can’t do. Has the unfair advantage of being able to control the conditions as well.
11. Merlin – Part of a magical back three
12. & 13. Z.Z. Top – I didn’t have the heart to split them up. Enjoy a good singing session after the game. Comedy value simply for the way they look.
14. Gandalf – Would be hampered by the banning of large sticks in the field of play still a valued member of the team.
15. Albus Dumbledore – Prodigious skill and knowledge. Never intimidated by the opposition and a good tutor for the younger players in the squad.
Charles Darwin was a strong shout for 8 but there were concerns about team spirit with him alongside Jesus and God. The Holy Spirit was also a contender to complete the Holy Trio in the backline (at 13), but I thought that might be taking things a bit far.
By Kemlo Longstaff