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Dream Team: London Irish and former Wasps and Leinster centre Brendan Macken

1 Cian Healy

He’s like a baby rhino, so strong in the scrum and as powerful in the loose. Great team guy who’s a big personality in any dressing room as well.

2 Tommy Taylor

Fantastic set-piece but also has the skills of a back and the nous of a world-class openside. Big hair, equally big personality.

3 Tadhg Furlong

Probably the best tighthead in the world right now. Never takes a step backwards and did the most amazing thing once by running over Richie McCaw.

4 Nathan Hines

One of the hardest working and cleverest second rows in the game. Played with him at Leinster and he was a huge part of our 2011 Heineken Cup success.

5 Joe Launchbury

Truly great leader who performs by example and always does something really effective at important points of a game. Vastly underrated by some people.

6 Sam Jones

Probably the toughest guy I’ve ever played with. Unbelievably intelligent player who was robbed of 50-60 England caps by injury.

7 George Smith

Incredibly intelligent player who reads the game so well and is always at least one play ahead of his opposite number. Still churning it out at the age of 38.

8 Jamie Heaslip

Has an incredible engine that enables him to keep going at it all day. Great leader who has incredibly soft skills for such a destructive back row player.

Baby Rhino: Leinster loosehead Cian Healy (photo: PA Images)

9 Eoin Reddan

Smart operator who can change the pace of a game and make life a complete misery for the opposition.

10 Danny Cipriani

Tough choice over Johnny Sexton but Danny has an unbelievable ability to make guys around him look good. Probably the most naturally talented player I’ve played with.

11 Charles Piutau

Thankfully I’ve only ever faced this guy in training but his left-foot step is probably the scariest thing on the planet. Supremely gifted back and great guy.

12 Jimmy Gopperth

Mr Reliable. His manoeuvring of a backline and goal-kicking is among the best in the world and under pressure he’d be the one you’d want to kick a winning goal.

13 Brian O’Driscoll

His reputation and CV speak volumes. A joy to watch in training, unbelievable talent and a huge inspiration during my early career.

14 Christian Wade

It annoys me how people perceive his defence as a weakness because I played inside him and he’s excellent. Raw pace, incredible skills and a wonderful finisher.

15 Willie Le Roux

So natural when he’s on the ball and looks like he’s got so much time he could have a cup of tea while he skips outside people and lays on a scoring pass.

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