Moody, who won 71 caps for England between 2001-2011, is the latest legend to be asked for his his ultimate XV from the tournament, but despite Scotland and Italy contesting the first match in the tournament’s history in the year 2000, none impressed Moody enough to make the cut.
Moody lined up against Scotland four times as a player, winning two, with a one loss and draw a piece, while he won all his Six Nations games he played against the Azzurri.
Nick named ‘Mad Dog’ for his total lack of regard for his own physical wellbeing, Moody would have faced some of the great Scottish and Italian names of the professional era. The England backrow would have competed against the likes of Jason White, Gregor Townsend, John Barclay and Tom Smith during his career than span the entirety of the noughties.
In total Moody selected eight Englishmen, three Welsh, three Irishmen and one Frenchman.
Arguably the biggest omission is Italian No.8 Sergio Parisse, who loses out to current Welsh forward Taulupe Faletau and doesn’t even get a mention. “Taulupe is not even 30 yet but it feels like he has been around forever, such is his longevity and class. In his pomp, I’m not sure if there was a better No.8 around at the time. My old friend Lawrence Dallaglio is a very narrow second but I think I have had enough Englishmen!”
Maybe his most interesting choice is Matt Perry at fullback. British and Irish Lion Perry enjoyed a relatively short but fruitful tenure with England. He scored 1o tries in four years and 30 appearances with the Red Rose and was a star of the Lions tour of Australia. The Bath full-back played all three tests for the Lions in 2001 but never played international rugby after the tour.
“I was lucky to have played with some great full-backs and Matt was so, so, so good. He was so consistent, solid and dependable and I didn’t see anyone beat him under the high ball, which – considering he was so skinny – is remarkable,” says Moody.
He explains his choices on the Six Nations website, which you can view here.
LEWIS MOODY’S GREATEST SIX NATIONS XV
1 Phil Vickery
2 Keith Wood
3 Adam Jones
4 Martin Johnson
5 Paul O’Connell
6 Thierry Dusautoir
7 Neil Back
8 Taulupe Faletau
9 Rob Howley
10 Jonny Wilkinson
11 Ben Cohen
12 Will Greenwood
13 Brian O’Driscoll
14 Jason Robinson
15 Matt Perry
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