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Dream Team: Alex Waller – Northampton loosehead

Alex Waller1. Soane Tonga’uhia – Very good set-piece but he’s exceptional in the open which comes with being a 140kg (22st) Tongan. He was my mentor for years.

2. Dylan Hartley – One of the best hookers when it comes to set piece and a great leader. We’d known about his class at Northampton for a long time but he’s proven he can do it with England, too.

3. Ben Tameifuna – A massive, heavy bloke. Good at the set piece but he’s also a good ball carrier. I’ve been in his way and it hurts.

4. Leone Nakarawa – Great hands with some freaky offloading skills. He’s a tight-five player who plays Sevens so just for that he’s got to make the team.

5. Christian Day – A bit of an unsung hero here but in terms of organising a lineout he’s second to none. We’ve been having one of the best lineouts in the league for years and it’s down to him.

6. George Smith – Great over the ball with a lot of experience. Always goes fetching for a turnover and that’s why he was Player of the Year.

7. Teimana Harrison – Out and out carrier but not afraid of doing the dirty work on the floor as well. If you need him to chuck someone over he will.

8. Samu Manoa – Massive man who gives you a lot of option being able to play across the back row as well as second row. Known for his ball carrying and for good reasons.

9. Kahn Fotuali’i – Brings a bit of Southern Hemisphere flair from the bottom of the ruck. You never know what to expect. Can play at fly-half too.

10. Dan Carter – It has to be really. What he’s achieved speaks for itself. Playing against him last season was pretty special and you could see his class from a mile off.

11. Christian Wade – He’s on fire at the moment. Great feet and great bloke. I think I’ve managed to tackle him once. When you think you’ve got him he bounces off the floor and goes again.

12. Jean de Villiers – I played against him when he was at Munster. Big man and very powerful in both attack and defence. A true South African in that sense.

13. Brian O’Driscoll – Big man and big experience. He could do whatever he wanted on the pitch. I can’t believe that Heineken Cup final was five years ago already.

14. George North – Not sure he’s done much training while in Rio cheering on his girlfriend but he’s got to make this team. Pace and power which brings a lot to the team out wide.

15. Nick Abendanon – He was on fire during that infamous Clermont game two years ago. Returns the ball extremely well and a good kicking option. Had a new lease of life since going there.

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