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Dream Team: Ealing Trailfinders lock James Cannon

James Cannon

The career of second-row forward James Cannon has spanned both the Premiership and PRO14.

Spells with Northampton Saints, Wasps and Connacht have now led the 31-year-old to Ealing Trailfinders in the Championship.

Here, Cannon picks a Dream Team of the best players he’s played with or faced as an opponent.

1 Soane Tonga’uiha

Unstoppable in the loose and a major part of the superlative Northampton front row that dominated the Premiership for several seasons, winning it in 2014.

2 T Rhys Thomas

Never got the headlines but our senior player in a pretty youthful Wasps pack when we played together. Safe to say he didn’t get the armchair ride he wanted!

3 Tadhg Furlong

Destructive scrummager and ball-carrier who is the cornerstone of one of the best club teams around in Leinster. Has become a top-class international.

4 Courtney Lawes

Has been central to everything good about Northampton and England over last ten years. Legendary physicality and a top lineout operator.

5 Gavin Thornbury

Class act in Connacht’s second row and a nailed-on future Irish international – I’m surprised he isn’t already. Next in line for big Devin Toner’s throne.

6 Sam Jones

Great player for Wasps who was sadly cut down in his prime. Teak-tough back row who deserved England chance. Might get a free meal at his restaurant for the name drop!

7 George Smith

Set the standards for back rows everywhere and was a brilliant addition to the Premiership. Best player on the pitch too often to leave out.

8 Billy Vunipola

Has been best ball-carrier in England since he was about 17. No signs of this changing anytime soon. Such an influential player on the international stage.

9 Will Chudley

We came through the ranks at Kettering RFC together. Had a tough route to the top but flourished at Bedford and has proven the top player he is at Exeter and Bath.

10 Jimmy Gopperth

His control of the game brings out the best of everyone around him. Still going strong at a stately 36 and showing no signs of wanting to pack up.

Jimmy Gopperth
Legend: Wasps fly-half/centre Jimmy Gopperth. Getty Images

11 Sinoti Sinoti

The hardest man to lay a finger on in open field. I tried many times but didn’t come close! Great servant and try-scorer for Newcastle over seven seasons.

12 Ben Jacobs

Always looked like he was playing in slow motion – in a good way! Hard worker and a great defensive leader who helped re-establish Wasps as a Premiership force.

13 Elliot Daly

Everything he tried seemed to come off well for him. Can’t just be luck! Skilful with pace to burn, has hit the heights in Test rugby.

14 Christian Wade

Scored incredible tries and not many other wingers could do what he could. England selection didn’t go his way but think he’ll have the last laugh Stateside.

15 Tommy Bell

Quote: ‘You had better put me in that team!’ Best looking full-back in the Championship and a decent player to go with it. Classy operator, good boot.

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