Dream Team XV for a Night Out

September 29, 2017

I’ve been fortunate and privileged to meet a number of players over the years, some are idols of mine and others that I hold in high regard. In meeting those individuals, I have never been disappointed and it has only enhanced my respect for them.

Some of my selections below have become good friends, which makes it even harder to select my Dream Team Night Out, especially in having to leave some out, in place of some that I have never had the chance to meet. 

So please forgive me if you are not on my Dream Team XV. My main criteria being to select a mixture of generations, which you can only imagine as the night went on, the stories and fun that will be had. 

Front Row

1 Kevin Yates  

A man who I watched down at Bath on a number of occasions and sure he has some great rugby tales from his travels. Always has a smile on his face and I’ve enjoyed his company over a few drinks. A good addition to any night out    

2 Sean Fitzpatrick

This man was an idol of mine and I never believed I would ever get the chance to meet him.  He is a tremendous man, with a big heart; a leader on and off the field. His charitable contribution to a good friend of mine will never be forgotten and I’ve enjoyed some NZ tales on a golf day with him too.   

This man was an idol of mine and I never believed I would ever get the chance to meet him.  He is a tremendous man, with a big heart; a leader on and off the field. His charitable contribution to a good friend of mine will never be forgotten and I’ve enjoyed some NZ tales on a golf day with him too.   

3 Jason Leonard 

I have never had the pleasure of meeting this man, but how can one not invite the Fun Bus. Can you imagine him in charge of drinking games? 

Second Row

This is a hard selection as there are a number of second rows who I reckon would be good craic, including Gareth Archer, who I enjoyed a night out with. I’m still not sure how I got home! 

I really have to go with two people who have given so much to the game and I treasure their company. 

Neil Fletcher  


One of the most hospitable of people, and an underrated player who was largely kept out of a Leicester Tigers side by a man called Johnson? I always enjoy meeting up with this man and have huge respect for him. Honoured to call him a friend. 

Bob Casey 


Has been a devoted and loyal player for London Irish and recently set the foundation for their future within the Premiership. He’s a man who always gives you his time and would be good to hear some of his tales over the years. These two-second rows would not be able to hide on a night out!       

Back Row

I’d love to have invited likes of Serge Betsen and Maggie Alphonsi but there’s just not enough space!

Paul Tupai  

Nicknamed Toops, this fella is a dying breed and is still playing at the tender age of 42. He’s a menace on the pitch, but a great family man off it and I have certainly enjoyed his company on a number of occasions. I can safely say he would have group laughing in no time.

Neil Back 

The most humble of guys and what you see is what you get. He has a great sense of humour to match.  Given so much to the game and no one else has yet replaced what he achieved as an openside flanker, certainly in England set up. 

I have witnessed him speak passionately about the sport with such enthusiasm and have enjoyed his company over the years. He’s a leader of men and will lead the lash – got to be there.

Catherine Spencer     

Spence is a remarkable lady, whom I met some years ago when she retired from England duty. I’ll always remember us escaping a function that could well have turned messy if we had stayed. We’ve got to make up for it with a bigger night so she gets the nod.

Half-backs

Honourable mentions to both Paul Hodgson and Riki Flutey too; but for me, there are two names that bring something special that no one else can 

Gareth Edwards  

This guy is a legend in every sense of the word and what an opportunity to enjoy the company of a man who changed the face of Welsh rugby and achieved so much. You could never tire of listening to his voice, and to enjoy a pint (s) with him would be amazing.

Phil Bennett 

These two made the perfect combination for Wales and I think on a night out their chemistry would be just as strong. Now a very good friend of mine, I’d have to have him there…Rugby is a small world sometimes. 

Centres

Tom May 

Tom epitomises what rugby is about in that players never forget their routes. Plus I’ve been told from some of the E4R Team he’s a strong asset on the lash. I’m sold. 

Shontayne Hape 

It’s kind of in his name; he’s just a happy chappy. Such a pleasant, fun and easy-going guy to speak to and an ideal guest on any night out.

Wingers

Christian Wade 

Wadey is the most chilled guy I know in rugby and can produce magical moments in the blink of an eye. A fantastic player who I feel deserved more time in an England jersey; join us Wadey!

Ugo Monye  

I would ask Ugo along for his fashion sense alone; his garms are smooth. Also, I imagine he’d be the provider of some genius comedy lines if his commentary is anything to go by. Whoever loses a sprint between him and Wadey buys the first round.

Full Back

Tim Stimpson 

His long-range kicking reminds me of a young man currently playing for Wasps (Elliot Daly). Tim makes up my final player selection.

So there we have it a mixture of youth, legends and great characters to have played the game enjoying a Dream Team Night.      


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