All Time SANZAR XV – Tighthead prop

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 the stand-out Springboks, All Blacks and Wallabies at each position, with the next installment of this series looking at the tighthead props: tell us which lock pairing you think should make the team, we'll add up the votes and publish the all-time SANZAR XV, as selected by the fans. [more]

All Time SANZAR XV – Tighthead prop

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 the stand-out Springboks, All Blacks and Wallabies at each position, with the next installment of this series looking at the tighthead props: tell us which lock pairing you think should make the team, we’ll add up the votes and publish the all-time SANZAR XV, as selected by the fans.

The tighthead prop is the cornerstone of the scrum, you cannot have a great side without one and the Lions certainly came up against their fair share.

Four years ago in South Africa the tourists lost a gut-wrenching series to the Springboks who were led by John Smit.

Equally capable as a hooker, Smit may not have got the eye catching plaudits that the ‘The Beast’ Tendai Mtawarira enjoyed, but he was just as important in the first Test destruction of the Lions front-row.

A World Cup winner as well, Smit finished his career with almost every title on his CV that a player could ask for.

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In 2005 the great Carl Hayman was at the height of his powers, and while an infected toe meant he only played the first Test of that series, he left his mark during that clash.

Greg Somerville stepped in for the second and third Tests and did a superb job in his stead, but there is no replacing a Hayman that on his day was a one-man scrum all on his own.

Hayman was the most recent of a strong tradition of great All Black tightheads.

There was the legend Olo Brown on the 1993 tour, the superb technical scrummager who Sean Fitzpatrick rated as one of the all-time greats.

Brian ‘Jazz’ Muller also merits a mention from the 1971 tour, a real character off the field as well as a wrecking ball on it, Muller famously used to trim his hedges with a lawn mower!

Australia might not be renowned as a scrummaging heartland but Dan Crowley on the 1989 tour was a tower of strength for the Wallabies.

Crowley went on to become an undercover cop after retiring from the sport but he stood out for his efforts on that tour.
Another couple of Springboks also put their hands up for inclusion on this list.

The 1974 Lions might have been known as the Invincibles but they were made to work for that tag by Springbok skipper Hannes Marais.

And the same applies to Adrian Garvey in 1997 who started all three Tests and enjoyed a ding-dong battle up front with Lions legend Tom Smith. 

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