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Dream Team: Northampton Saints and England centre Luther Burrell

Luther Burrell

Northampton Saints centre Luther Burrell will bring to a close a 13-year love affair with rugby union to switch codes and join the Warrington Wolves at the end of this season.

But before he pulls on the Black, Green and Gold one last time, we asked the England international to consider a dream XV based on those he has played alongside and against.

1 Soane Tonga’uiha

Part of a magnificent Saints front row that gave us a platform. Huge scrummager who ensured our pack never went into reverse.

2 Dylan Hartley

Leadership qualities he brings for Saints and England are second to none and his set-piece stats are right up there. Nails his lineouts and very good in the scrum.

3 Brian Mujati

Played with and against him and he was at Saints when our pack was a force to be reckoned with. Great character who did a mean home brew!

4 Courtney Lawes

‘Mr Northampton’ is so dominant in the contact area and tackling is phenomenal. Laid-back, but an animal on the pitch.

5 Samu Manoa

Partnered with Courtney, this pair would dominate the opposition. Unknown when he came to Saints but was so explosive and had fantastic athletic ability.

6 Alfie To’oala

Had the biggest legs I’ve even seen and had to cut his shorts before every game. One of the most aggressive players I’ve seen, people would just bounce off him.

7 Hendre Fourie

Fantastic at the breakdown. Would be getting seven bells knocked out of him but would still come up with the ball. Such a shame he had to retire early.

8 Louis Picamoles

This is a pretty big pack and he was our saviour in 2016/17. Incredible ability to take on defenders and offload in what was quite an adverse time for us.

Louis Picamoles

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

9 Kahn Fotuali’i

At one point he was the world’s best 9 for me. The stuff he could do meant it was like playing with another 10 or 12, he was that strong and mobile.

10 Stephen Myler

Played with Farrell, Cipriani and Biggar but I’ll stick with Myler because of his resilience. Nothing flash but ultra-professional and when you need big kicks, he delivers.

11 Taqele Naiyaravoro

Fits the bill for my ultra-physical team. Stats are right up there and you just can’t tackle the man. Phenomenal.

12 Owen Farrell

Sam Tuitupou is up there but Faz would dovetail nicely with Myler behind my monster pack. Brilliant ball player who demands the best from others.

13 Manu Tuilagi

Had many individual battles with him and he’s one of those freaks of nature who can win you a game from nothing by breaking tackles and linking with wings.

14 Seru Rabeni

Leeds played Newcastle needing a win to stay up. He was ill before the game but got man-of-the-match. Line-breaks, huge defensive hits, he had the lot.

15 Ben Foden

One of the most unprofessional players – poor diet, never watched rugby – but give him the ball and his footwork got him through. Great bloke to have around.

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