From the Archives: Fantasy Teams – A Bearded XV

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?

Bearded XV

blessed1. 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

6 thoughts on “From the Archives: Fantasy Teams – A Bearded XV

  1. Nice. I would move Bin Laden to 7, he has that Richie McCaw ability to hide in plain sight.

    Some alternatives (or for the bench) and support staff

    Sun Tzu: Coach. The master tactician.

    Sigmund Freud: Sports Psychologist.

    As being mortal isn’t required lets have Poseiden and Zeus. Poseiden to flood the defences and Zeus to strike from anywhere on the pitch.

    Pavarotti and Geoff Capes will make a good propping duo.

  2. Surely Jeremy Paxman has to have a look-in now he is bearded up! Resilient little blighter who will keep asking questions of the opposition.

    I’d play him in the centres as technically I think currently you are illegally fielding a team of 16 (Z.Z. Top has three members, and ironically the Drummer – Frank Beard – is the only member of ZZ Top who does not wear a beard).

  3. Surely Leonidas would be full back, last line of defence and all that…

    And you have Jonny Wilkinson at 10, but he doesn’t have a beard?

  4. Ah love these! What about a DC comics vs Marvel one?

    Personally I’d like to see TreeBeard at 4 or 5! Looking at statues Hercules had a beard so reckon he should get the nod at 8.

  5. Hitler!… He’d be one of those scrum halves that spend the entire game hiding behind the forwards that you just long to smash in a good tackle!

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