Why do I say this? You only need to look at the recent Zurich world ranking - a service kindly provided for our amusement sponsored by a European bank which shows us the "world XV" - the team made up of the world's best fullback, best two wingers etc... etc...
Of course the team would be chock full of All Blacks, Wallabies and Springboks, wouldn't it?
Nope, according to these hopeless nutters the current ideal team contains ONE Australian, NO South Africans and ONE New Zealander. Done by a European bank, remember. Here's the full team so that everyone can share in this outrage.
15. Leon MacDonald NZL.
14. Austin Healey ENGLAND
13. Will Greenwood ENGLAND
12. Mike Catt ENGLAND
11. Christope Domininci FRANCE
10. Gerald Merceron FRANCE
9. Rob Howley WALES
8. Scott Quinell WALES
7. Neil Back ENGLAND
6. Owen Finegan AUS.
5. Danny Grewcock ENGLAND
4. Martin Johnson ENGLAND
3. Phil Vickery ENGLAND
2. Keith Wood IRELAND
1. Tom Smith SCOTLAND
Leon MacDonald and Owen Finegan being the only two players from the Southern Hemisphere must be the most blind, stupid and inept thing to happen since Steve Walsh beat Wellington to retain the Ranfurly shield.
Not only have I never heard of any of these people except Healey (the one who keeps abusing his coach), but I can think of probably 5 southern hemisphere players (on average) who would be better at any given position.
On the wing - Wilson, Paulse, Lomu, Walker, Latham, Howlett (as well as Cullen and Burke who can play on the wing as well).
At halfback - Gregan, van der Westheisen, Kelleher, Whitaker, Marshall, Robinson to name a few.
At 1st 5 - Merhtens, Brown, Larkham, van Straaten. If not, that Johnny Wilkinson guy from England. If they want to have a northern hemisphere team, they should at least pick the best from the northern hemisphere!
And so on, and so on, and so on.
I'm afraid that the Northern hemisphere has finally lost it. Not that they ever had it, but their arrogance is really quite sad.
They ought to watch our Super 12 competition if they want to see some real players - or better yet why not get this team together and have them play in the Super 12 for a year!
The Brumbies (minus Finegan) would easily thrash this team, as would the Hurricanes if they were in the mood for it. The rest of them would surely either win or nearly do so. The only teams without a hope in hell would be the hapless Bulls, Dorkland and the Hurricanes when they were not in the mood.
So it looks like if that's what our World XV is in the most "respected" (by North hemisphere gits) I'd like to submit a team of my own using the Super 12 as my basis.
Let's have the best team in the world using the unimpressive back 3 of the Sharks, the awful Blues midfield, the useless Hurricanes inside backs of Holwell and Spice. We can have a Bulls loose foward trio, two short and weak north hemisphere locks (we must give them as much respect as they have given us of course). We can have fat and slow Waratahs props and Norm Hewitt throwing the lineouts as hooker.
The really, REALLY sad thing is though - that the "team" I named would be odds-on to beat that no-name team that the bankers named.
Really. And we think Aussies are bad?