Ealing Trailfinders and former Tynedale, Rotherham, London Welsh and London Irish lock Barney Madison picks XV of the best he has played with or against.
1. Robin ‘Bomber’ Hislop
Has been one of the best looseheads in the Championship for past few years and brings a lot of ‘Puggy’ on the pitch and on a night out. Honourable mention for Peter ‘Bullet’ Southern, my old mate from Tynedale.
2. Charlie Maddison
If I don’t put him in, he will lose his head, which doesn’t take much at the best of times. One of the best hookers in the Championship for the past few years.
3. Mark Tampin
Can’t choose between him and Lewis Thiede. One’s a keyboard warrior and one’s a hanging bloke, but they will do a decent job for 80 minutes between them.
4. Josh Thomas Brown
Absolute social hand grenade but knew how to run a lineout when we were at Rotherham and London Welsh together… when he was actually fit!
5. Rayn Smid
Back rower by trade but loves a stint in the second row at Ealing. Top player but I haven’t got much else to say as he’s very, very boring.
6. Kieran Murphy
Known as ‘Big Red’ around the borough of Ealing on account of his hair. Loves a lineout steal and losing his head in training if you don’t do exactly what he wants.
7. Jack Preece
If he wasn’t knee high to a grass- hopper he would have had a fair amount of Premiership games under his belt by now, I reckon. Up there with the best I’ve seen over a ball.
8. Alex Rieder
One of the most hanging blokes I know but one hell of a rugby player who thoroughly deserved his chance at Wasps. Such a shame injury forced him to quit.
9. Scott Steele
Relentless on and off the pitch for London Irish. Loves a jackal and keeps a team ticking over. Hopefully, he’ll go well for Harlequins.
10. Dallan Murphy
Looks like Charlie Dimmock but one of the best attacking 10s I’ve played with at Rotherham.
11. James Cordy Redden
Unbelievable under a high ball and a standout player in the Championship for years. Couldn’t organise a social to save his life though.
12. Pale Nonu
Brother of Ma’a who was at Rotherham for a while. For a big guy he had silly feet and an unbelievable skillset. Shame about his kicking game though!
13. Chris Harris
Another Tynedale and Rotherham old boy who’s gone on to have a pretty good career with Newcastle, Gloucester and Scotland. Big old goose and a class defender.
14. Ben Loader
Could do you in a phone box and has a really bright future ahead at London Irish. Shame about his fashion sense though.
15. Sean Scanlon
A very sneaky individual but has one of the best rugby brains of anyone I’ve ever played with. Been one of the Championship’s most consistent performers for years.