How the RugbyPass Hall of Fame Fan 1st XV looks so far
Throughout this week so far, the first five positions in the RugbyPass Hall of Fame have been revealed with a number of highly decorated players having been inducted.
Gradually across the week we’ve seen players from both the past and present be included, with fans being able to vote for what might just be the greatest team ever. As voted by you the fans, the Fan 1st XV has seen some major inclusions and exclusions from this legendary line-up.
Starting with the RugbyPass Hall of Fame’s first ever induction announcement, 10 loosehead props were included in the list.
Os du Randt currently has a clear lead over second-placed Tony Woodcock. In fact, out of the five positions that have been revealed so far, the Springbok has the largest lead over the player coming in second (194 votes at the time of writing).
du Randt played his way to legendary status by being part of South Africa’s first two Rugby World Cup winning squads. He started the 1995 Final against the All Blacks at Ellis Park, and do so again against England in 2007.
Today we inducted 10 of the greatest loosehead props of all time into the RugbyPass Hall of Fame, but who is the greatest of all?
Register to vote now: https://t.co/OwER5Yid3s pic.twitter.com/NMUa0fuIMn
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 29, 2021
The now 49-year-old was renowned for his scrumming ability, and was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame a couple of years ago.
As previously mentioned, Rugby World Cup winning All Black Tony Woodcock has second-most votes in the loosehead position with 174. Springbok Tendai Mtawarira rounds out the top three with 139 votes.
Arguably a surprise out of this section though is that Genthin Jenkins is fifth with 33 votes – which is just under 9% of the votes that du Randt has. Jenkins had an incredible Test career where he played 129 internationals for both Wales and the British and Irish Lions.
Then on Tuesday, 13 of rugby’s best hookers were revealed as the first players in their position to be included in this Hall of Fame.
Leading the votes at the moment is the legendary Sean Fitzpatrick, who has 233 votes. Clearly, many would agree that Fitzpatrick is also one of the best All Blacks of all time as well.
The former All Blacks captain had a decorated career in the black jersey, which included a triumph at the first ever Rugby World Cup in 1987. Fitzpatrick started at that Final at Eden Park, which the All Blacks won 29-9.
In second is South Africa’s Bismarck Du Plessis who played 79 times for his country. Du Plessis was a tough player who rightfully deserves his spot on this list.
But arguably the biggest surprise in the fan voting so far is arguably that Keith Wood is ranked third in his position.
The Irishman won the first ever Men’s 15s Player of the Year award in 2001, captained Ireland, and went on two Tours with the British and Irish Lions. That’s just an opinion but he’s 102 votes behind Fitzpatrick at the moment.
Owen Franks and Tadhg Furlong are dominating the fan voting in the tighthead prop position, but it’s the All Black who currently holds the lead.
We’ve released the 12 tighthead props that have made it into the RugbyPass Hall of Fame! Head over to cast your vote and determine the greatest of them all. Register to vote now: https://t.co/OwER5Yid3s pic.twitter.com/0aK83eoHUo
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 1, 2021
Franks was part of the All Blacks’ back-to-back Rugby World Cup triumphs, and played over 100 times in the black jersey. Interestingly for Hurricanes fans, Franks is set to return to New Zealand to the nation’s capital for Super Rugby Pacific next year.
But while Franks is first with 198 votes, Furlong isn’t too far behind with 163. The Irishman has continued to prove himself to be arguably the best player in his position over the past few years, and was one of the best players on the planet in 2018.
As well as an impressive club career with Leinster, Furlong has also been part of some famous games for both the green of Ireland and the red of the British and Irish Lions.
Just last month, he started against the All Blacks in Dublin, just as he did in Chicago in 2016. He also played in all three Tests in the 2017 Lions Tour of New Zealand, which included the famous win in Wellington and the draw in Auckland.
Rounding out the top three is former All Black Carl Hayman. Wales’ Adam Jones only has 44 votes but could definitely be higher on this list.
Moving onto the locks, there are number of players in the four jersey who could rightfully take top spot here. But it’s South Africa’s Eben Etzebeth who is first at the moment with 183 votes, but New Zealand’s Brodie Retallick is not too far off.
Etzebeth has a reputation as being a highly physical player, and he was a big part of South Africa’s resurgence ahead of the 2019 World Cup. In that tournament in Japan, he also started in the final against England.
But Brodie Retallick does have a case here as well, having won World Rugby’s Men’s 15s Player of the Year in 2014.
World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson is third with 82 votes – which is 101 votes less than Etzebeth. Bakkies Botha, Maro Itoje and Brad Thorn are currently ranked fourth, fifth and sixth. But any of these players could be higher, and this competitiveness amongst players continues into the number five jumper.
Yesterday afternoon, All Blacks legend Colin Meads was leading, but he’s now in third behind Victor Matfield and John Eales.
Another Rugby World Cup winner, Matfield’s dominance at the set-piece was one of my earliest rugby memories. No opposition throw into a lineout was safe when the former Springboks captain was competing.
11 votes behind him in second is the most successful Wallabies captain of all-time in John Eales. The World Cup winner could just do things that other locks simply couldn’t – who could forget that kick against the All Blacks in Wellington?
While the top three are a very good list of names, the players ranked fourth through to seventh especially are also extremely decorated players who could very well be higher on this list
Two-time Rugby World Cup winner Samuel Whitelock is fourth with 24 votes, while Ireland legend Paul O’Connell is 12 votes behind him.
But one of the bigger omission from the Fan 1st XV is Alun Wyn Jones, who is ranked sixth in his position with only six votes. Former Ireland and British and Irish lock Willie John McBride is seventh with just one vote.
Nothing is set in stone though and you can still register to vote for the RugbyPass Hall of Fame right now. Sign up here so you can have your say on who should be included in the Fan 1st XV.
- Os du Randt (South Africa, 1994-2007)
- Sean Fitzpatrick (New Zealand, 1986-1997)
- Owen Franks (New Zealand, 2009-2019)
- Eben Etzebeth (South Africa, 2012-presnet)
- Victor Matfield (South Africa, 2001-2015)
- TBC – Induction 06.12.2021
- TBC – Induction 07.12.2021
- TBC – Induction 08.12.2021
- TBC – Induction 09.12.2021
- TBC – Induction 10.12.2021
- TBC – Induction 13.12.2021
- TBC – Induction 14.12.2021
- TBC – Induction 15.12.2021
- TBC – Induction 16.12.2021
- TBC – Induction 17.12.2021
Coach: TBC – Induction 20.12.2021
Referee: TBC – Induction 21.12.2021
Stadium: TBC – Induction 22.12.2021
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