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Who is best at the back?

According to Aussieboer's last column, the poll showed that Hempies du Toit is regarded by most as the Boks best tighthead prop.

That got me thinking – in this World Cup year – what would the all-time best Bok and World XV teams look like?

Let us start with the fullbacks, the last line of defence.

To be a complete fullback you have to be excellent in your positional play, have great hands under the high ball, solid defence, kicking ability and must have a feel for when to attack and join the line.

Counter attacking ability has, over the years,  separate the wheat from the chaff.

The biggest concern for me is that not a lot of world class fullbacks kicked with both feet , as they seem to have more time to kick and could call a mark. They just could be bothered to improve this valuable skill.

Who is best at the back?World XV fullbacks will be widely contested.

HO de Villiers changed SA rugby as we use to know it in the sixties, when he started the counter attack. Injuries denied the world of more HO magic.  

JPR Williams was sensational in the seventies and not far behind him, Andy Irvine. Serge Blanco's attacking abilities were fantastic, however, his defence not existent. For the Kiwis Glen Osborne was a star at the 95 World Cup, but, Christian Cullen was so brilliant that Osborne is almost forgotten.

Matthew Burke and Chris Latham were lethal Wallabies. Jason Robinson, although I would regard him more as a wing, will be the first choice for many.

Today Israel Dagg, Israel Folau, Willie le Roux and Leigh Halfpenny are the stand-out players.

For the Boks Andre Joubert, Percy Montgomery and Gysie Pienaar all had the X-factor, but were vulnerable on defence.Who is best at the back?

Ian McCullum, Dawie Snyman and Johan Heunis were rock steady and good Bok fullbacks.

However, the record books will have Lionel Wilson also amongst the Bok greats.

Gerrie Brand was class in his day, playing in 16 Tests between 1928-1938. Brand was only 1,78m tall and weighed 74kg.

It is sad to see how players like Gio Aplon, Brent Russell and Cheslin Kolbe struggle to convince coaches today they should be playing Test rugby.

Most Bok coaches prefer a more steady than X-factor fullback.

Heyneke Meyer is still considering Zane Kirchner for the World Cup, while Aussieboer back Willie le Roux all the way!

Let's pick our teams as we slowly move towards the 2015 World Cup.

Aussieboer's teams:

Position        Bok XV               World XV                Reader's Bok XV             Reader's World XV

15                  HO de Villiers     Christian Cullen        ?                                        ?

Aussieboer (Kevin D)

@rugby365com

Vote on the polls for your fullbacks and comment why you picked them.

 

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