Get Newsletter

The Titled XV

OPINION: It is the time of the year when people look back to the past and pick teams, and if they are South Africans, they want to pick 15 Springboks after 2019 glory in Yokohama.


In the New Year’s Honours List came the news that Steven Hansen had been knighted: Arise, Sir Stephen.

We thought of picking a team of titled rugby players from down the years.

Titles we are going to consider are those honour titles that go before the name, like Lord, Sir and Bishop. We are not going to look at job titles, like General and Prime Minister, nor at honours that follow the names, like OBE, JP, DSO or even VC of whom there are three.

We have one selection that we do not apologise for. Saints have been proclaimed by the voice of the people. Vox populi, they say, is the voice of God. Out flyhalf is as a result of the vox populi, not vox Reginae.

All of our titled candidates are international rugby players. We give their country and, in brackets, the year of their international debut. Not surprisingly, most will be English and most long ago when rugby was very much an upper-crust game in England.

There are none from South Africa, which does not have such things but several from New Zealand, which got them going again in 1996.


The date in brackets is the date of their international debut.

Titled Trialists

Australia: Sir Nick Shehadie (1947), Sir Ernest Dunlop (1932)

England: Sir Carl Aarvold (1928), Lord Wakefield of Hendal, Sir Lancelot Barrington-Ward (1910), Sir Arthur Blakiston (1920), Sir Edgar Bonham-Carter (1891), The Rev. Lancelot Percival KCVO (1891) whose Sir is not used because he was knighted when already Reverend which takes preference, Sir Duncan Cumming (1928), Sir John Luscombe (1871), Rt Hon Sir Arthur Luxmoore (1900), Sir Stephen Finney (1872), Sir Edward Fraser (1875), Sir Basil Hill (1903), Sir Archibald Law (1877), Sir Dermot Milman (1937), Sir William Milton (1874), Lord Philip Moore (1951), Sir Percy Royds (1898), Sir Clive Woodward (1980), Sir George Augustus Walker (1939), Peter Yarranton (1954), Sir Bill Beaumont (1975)


Ireland: Sir George Beamish (1925), Sir Ewart Bell (1953), Sir Joseph Chambers (1886), Sir Thomas Lyle (1885), Sir Frederick Moore (1884), Sir Anthony O’Reilly (1955), Sir Theodore Pike (1927), Bishop Victor Pike (1931), Sir William Pike (1879), Sir William Tyrrell (1910), Sir Basil McFarland (1920)

New Zealand: Sir Thomas Caughey (1932), Sir John Kirwan (1984), Sir Colin Meads (1957), Sir Brian Lochore (1964), Sir Wilson Whineray (1957), Sir Fred Allen (1946), Sir John Graham (1958), Sir Bryan Williams (1970)

Scotland: Sir Augustus Asher (1882), Lord John Bannerman (1921), Sir Ronald Cumming (1921), Sir George Cunningham (1908), Sir Louis Greig (1905), Sir Robert Mackenzie (1877), Sir John Mowat (1883), Sir Tennant Sloan (1905), Sir Arthur Young (1874), Sir Ian McGeechan (1972), Sir Michael Jones (1987)

Wales: Sir William Cope (1896), Sir David Evans (1889), Sir Gareth Edwards (1967)

Coaches: Sir Graham Henry, Sir Stephen Hansen, Sir Clive Woodward, Sir Brian Lochore, Sir Fred Allen

Titled XV

15 Sir William Milton
14 Sir John Kirwan
13 Sir Carl Aarvold
12 Sir Ian McGeechan
11 Sir Tony O’Reilly
10 King Barry John
9 Sir Gareth Edwards
8 Sir Brian Lochore
7 Sir Michael Jones
6 Lord Wakefield of Kendall (captain)
5 Sir Bill Beaumont
4 Sir Colin Meads
3 The Rev. Launcelot Percival
2 Bishop Victor Pike
1 Sir Nick Shehadie

Coach: Sir Clive Woodward – the only northern hemisphere coach whose team has won the Rugby World Cup
Manager: The Princess Royal, Princess Anne

Write A Comment