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Legendary lock tops poll to join Itoje in Immortals XV engine room

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

The BT Sport Premiership Immortals XV has begun to take shape with five of the eight forwards now chosen by fans. Launched last Thursday as part of the TV broadcaster’s 20-year celebrations since the first-ever Premiership final, online voting has been taking place in the run-up to this year’s May 27 decider.


Front row was the sector of the team initially filled, with imported Leicester props Marcus Ayerza and Martin Castrogiovanni topping the respective loosehead and tighthead polls with 35.9 and 34.9 per cent of the votes in their specialist positions.

Unlike those close-run tallies, Saracens’ Schalk Brits was a convincing poll-topper at hooker as he took 59.7 per cent of the votes cast for the No2 shirt.

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Attention then moved on to the second row berths and with Maro Itoje having beaten his current England coach Steve Borthwick and Ben Kay to the No4 jersey after garnering 46 per cent of that vote, it was announced on Tuesday afternoon that he would be joined in the engine room by the legendary Martin Johnson at No5.

The 2003 World Cup-winning skipper dominated his particular poll, taking 75.7 per cent of the vote compared to 14.1 per cent for Simon Shaw and 10.2 per cent for George Kruis.

With the fans having decided their front five, attention has now switched to blindside where James Haskell, Joe Worsley and Martin Corry are the candidates up for selection. The intriguing fan poll build-up to 2022/23 Premiership final will culminate in a round-table debate show on May 27 featuring Ugo Monye, Lawrence Dallaglio, Kay and Austin Healey.

  • BT Sport’s Premiership Immortals celebrates the greatest players in the history of Premiership Rugby. From May 4 until the Premiership final on May 27, fans will be able to have their say on who they think deserves to have a spot in the competition’s all-time team. Cast your vote


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