Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 11 – David Duckham vs Jonah Lomu

Tune in for the ninth instalment of Miles Harrison’s rugby fantasy land XVs as he picks a pre-1994 Golden Oldie left wing to take on a ‘Young One’.

  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: The 10s
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 8
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: Full-backs
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 4
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: Scrum-half
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: Loosehead
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 13
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 7

These are teams with players who raise the spirits, ones that get you out of your seat. This could be down to their flair, skills and speed or because of their power, strength and physical presence.

These fantasy teams are not claiming to have the very greatest players in their positions although in all cases they are inevitably truly great players, the selection is about making sure that these teams would play the most amazingly entertaining rugby that the selector could possibly dream of.

Next up, it’s the left wing. David Duckham: Fleet-footed winger who featured for England on 36 occasions between 1969 and 1976, while also representing the British & Irish Lions on their historic 1971 series win in New Zealand.

And opposite him is former All Black Jonah Lomu. An absolute marvel of the sport between 1994 and 2002, he was rugby’s first global superstar and the most physically dominant player of his generation – there’s been no-one like the wing since. He tragically passed away in November 2015 at the age of just 40.

I hope you have a great trip to Fantasy Land and that, at least for a moment or two, it takes your mind off what’s happening in the world at this time. Stay safe and healthy, Miles.

The Golden Oldie: David Duckham

11. Duckham – I agonised over the choice of wing perhaps more than in any other department in this team. But, when you are leaving out the contrasting talents of say, Gerald Davies and John Bevan, two of my all-time favourites, then you had better get a good’un instead.

David Duckham was certainly that and, as has been so often said: ‘Was so good he could have been Welsh’. Re-watch the Barbarians game of 1973 and tell me that I don’t have a good case on this one.

And, again, it is as much about the moment as anything else. That day made the biggest impression on me as any rugby day has since. He became a lifelong hero thereafter.

The Young One: Jonah Lomu

11. Lomu – If Gareth Edwards was the easiest selection in the Golden Oldies, then Jonah is the easiest call for the Young Ones. He was a man who changed how the game was played – just think about the enormity of that statement.

Over time, there are changes in style, which players and coaches help to bring about. But, when one person comes along and totally and utterly overturns how the game is being approached, that is seismic. Indeed, that is perhaps the word for Jonah, seismic.

And, when on top of his game, even amongst this company, he would be good enough to decide the result of this match all by himself. Again, just think about the enormity of that statement.

Selection is by its very nature a very personal choice and, coupled with that thought, is the fact that you can’t look back over all the years and not miss a few. This is where you come in. I want your selections and for you to tell me who I might have missed and exactly why you have made your choices? @skysportsmiles

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