It is almost that time of year again, when club rivalries are put to one side and the eyes of the Northern Hemisphere are turned towards the Six Nations.
And as we build toward the 2017 edition of the championship, and the return of ESPN’s Fantasy Rugby, our writers have decided to have some fun.
In between deliberations over who would make their own lineup this year, has been a much wider debate: Who would be selected for an “All Sports XV”?
We have therefore taken the liberty of producing our own, and we believe this team would take some beating.
15. Novak Djokovic
The Serbian covers the tennis court better than most — and would have the awareness and speed to take care of the backfield and counter on attack.
14. Usain Bolt
The fastest man in the world would cause havoc on the wing — not to mention his size, standing just under 2 metres tall.
13. Odell Beckham Jr.
One of the most naturally gifted players in the NFL could easily transfer his skills to union. Possesses a great pair of hands and has the ability to run a perfect line in midfield.
12. Sir Chris Hoy
The leg power of the six-time Olympic gold medallist would surely see him break the gain line more often than not. Unlike most of our fantasy XV, Hoy has actually played rugby during his school days in Edinburgh.
11. Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portuguese and Real Madrid star is all too familiar with playing on the wing — but could prove a liability on defence.
10. Rory McIlroy
A regular at the Kingspan supporting Ulster, the Northern Irishman should have a big boot to match his superb drive.
9. Lewis Hamilton
The three-time Formula One champion has the body type for a scrum half — and isn’t unfamiliar with ball sports having played football and cricket in his school days.
1. Shane Warne
A good team man and tactician who would certainly throw a sledge or two come scrum time.
2. Michael van Gerwen
Given his accuracy with the arrow, the Dutchman is a logical selection at hooker if he can find the jumper at the lineout.
3. David Ortiz
You get the impression Big Papi would welcome the collision — and would be a player you’d avoid running straight at!
4. LeBron James
LeBron’s height sees him slot in at second row, with his ballhandling skills to be a key at lineout time. Who needs a lifter?
5. Anthony Joshua
The IBF heavyweight champion has the size but is also mobile, while its always handy to have a player who can pack a punch.
6. Michael Phelps
The greatest Olympian excelled in the pool — so why not on the pitch? Another big lump of a lad to provide some go forward as well.
7. Conor McGregor
The UFC fighter may have to bulk up a tad, but his mixed martial arts background will come in handy as he fetches at the breakdown.
8. Sidney Crosby
The face of the NHL makes ice hockey look effortless, so surely rugby would be a lot easier. He has the vision and hand-eye coordination to be a solid No. 8.