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 fly-half: 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.
Many All Blacks can lay claim to having unpicked the Lions in 2005, but Dan Carter was the tormentor-in-chief.
In fact his demolition of Clive Woodward’s side in the second Test was so close to perfection that his performance was arguably the greatest of all time from No.10.
He destroyed the Lions through the air, on the ground and ultimately their spirit in bullying his way to 33 points – including two tries – in a 48-18 thumping.
Carter is not the only Kiwi fly-half to have his wicked way with the tourists, Grant Fox delivering an effective albeit less flashy display in 1993.
His metronomic boot drilled through 15 points apiece in the first and third Tests, but it will be the former that will forever stick in the mind of a Lions fan with a penalty mired in controversy.
The All Blacks snuck the opener in Christchurch after being awarded a hotly-disputed three-pointer at the breakdown, for Fox to hold his nerve and clinch the victory in the last minute.
One Aussie sure to have his say in an all-time list is Michael Lynagh – despite finding himself on the losing end of the tour of 1989.
If anyone was to drag the Wallabies over the line in that year it was Lynagh, a prolific goal-kicker – with 36 points in the series – and an incisive runner who could not quite tame the Lions.
But the aforementioned greats would struggle to hold a candle up to the footballing of Naas Botha.
Such was his audacious skill that the British press nicknamed him ‘Nasty Booter’ as, under pressure with either left or right boot, Botha was the bane of the Lions in 1980.
The Springboks would clinch a 3-1 tour victory but the fly-half’s defining moment came in the third Test, nailing the crucial conversion in Port Elizabeth to tie up the tour.
A founding father to fly-half brilliance, Keith Oxlee is another name to forever have a place in the tour’s annals.
In 1962 – an era where points were usually few and far between – Oxlee kicked a Springbok record of 16 points in a single test against the Lions, before Botha bested him some two decades later.