Your dream British & Irish Lions XV of all-time has been picked – but which players stand the best chance of toppling them? Here we look at some of the stand-out Springboks, All Blacks and Wallabies at each position, with the next instalment of this series looking at the wingers: tell us who you think should make the team, we’ll add up the votes and publish the all-time SANZAR XV, as selected by the fans.
It only takes one moment to define a player’s career and when Joe Roff plucked a Jonny Wilkinson pass out of the Melbourne sky, the Australia wing found his.
The Lions were 11-6 up in the second Test of the 2001 series at the break but it took 15 second-half seconds for Roff to dart over the whitewash to wrench the match, and ultimately a series victory, away from the tourists.
As if one flash of magic wasn’t enough the back crashed over again soon after as the Wallabies levelled up the series, before triumphing in the series decider in Sydney.
Try-scoring debuts are always a rare feat but when you’re an NRL and Aussie Rules convert squaring off against the Lions for your first international cap, none are more heart-stopping than Israel Folau’s.
Folau now plies his trade as a full-back but the Waratah donned the Wallabies No.14 jersey in the first Test last summer to devastating effect,
After using his electrifying pace to grab his first in the series opener, he then outfoxed three Lions in jinking over for his second of the night – and somehow the tourists withstood his onslaught to come away with a crucial win.
It is not just Australia fliers who have made the Lions suffer in decades past, Springbok Bryan Habana having his own day in the sun against the Lions four years ago.
The South Africans were wobbling in Pretoria until Habana scythed through the touring party’s lines, eerily turning the tide on the Lions in the second Test just like Roff before him.
Sitiveni Sivivatu is another name to throw in the hat as one of the Lions’ chief tormentors with the All Blacks in 2005.
The ball of muscle barrelled over the try-line in the first two Tests to dish out the tourists a ‘blackwash’ for only the third time in their history.
And another Kiwi in Stu Wilson delivered a resounding blow to Lions Test hopes in 1983, scoring the only try in the third clash to clinch the series for the hosts.
The series was wrapped up but the former Wellington back had no intention on stopping there, heaping more misery on the tourists with a hat-trick in the final Test.
Gerrie Germishuys was one of the driving forces behind a rampant South Africa’s success in 1980 as he skipped over the try-line in three successive Tests.
And to go back to 1959, Folau was not the only winger to menace on Test debut after Ralph Caulton dotted down twice for the All Blacks in the second Test.
One double was clearly not enough for the upstart either – appearing for the next Test a fortnight later to grab two more tries and snuff out Lions’ hopes of drawing the series.