2. Harry Thacker – We come from the same club, Lutterworth RFC, so we’ve knocked about since we were very young. Such a threat ball in hand like Schalk Brits in his prime.
3. Ben Hooper – His banter is terrible but he’s a great squad player and brings a lot of leadership and maturity to our scrum.
4. Joe Launchbury – A talisman in the second row at Wasps and his engine never seems to stop. One of the most talented and hard-working rugby players I’ve played with.
5. Tom Holmes – A very savvy lineout operator who always does the dirty work around the park. A great player to have in the changing room at Nottingham.
6. Mark Bright – He’s probably the most respected player in the Championship and for good reasons. He’s creeping on to 40 but he still always puts in standout displays for Ealing.
7. Sam Jones – He was my training partner at Wasps so he’s a close friend. Such a shame he broke his leg during his first day in the England camp. Can’t wait to see him push for that jersey again.
8. Billy Vunipola – Everyone knows him for his ball carrying and his fantastic skillset and he’s such a great competitor. He’ll run into a wall all day just to give his team an inch of go forward.
9. Charlie Davies – A big physical scrum-half who I went back-packing with in the Philippines during the off-season. He’s like a fourth back-rower.
10. George Ford – I played with him in that 2011 England U20s side and he’s the best player I’ve played with because of his ability to see things long before they happen. Very brave too!
11. Elliot Daly – I had to get him in my team so I’ll put him where the Lions use him right now. All-round threat with his outside break and can kick at goal from 60 metres.
12. Andrea Masi – I was lucky to play with him at Wasps. To win the Six Nations player of the Year twice while playing for Italy tells you everything really.
13. Joe Cobden – We were at the Tigers together and he’s got a searing outside break. Very skilful so I hope he puts his injury worries behind him ahead of next season and kicks on.
14. Christian Wade – I don’t think I’ve ever played with anyone like him. He has the ability to beat anyone in the smallest of spaces. Terrifying to defend against.
15. Tommy Bell – He was the orchestrator of London Irish winning promotion back to the Premiership. I think he’ll impress a lot of people next season.
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