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House of Rugby

27th Apr 2019

Joe Marler selects seven All Blacks legends in ‘Best XV’ selection

Patrick McCarry

Joe Marler

“Nails! Would knock ****ing s**t outta ya!”

The calls had been strong to get Joe Marler back.

Those calls were heeded, and Marler produced the goods again.

The Harlequins star joined host Alex Payne and former England captain Mike Tindall on JOE UK’s House of Rugby and was as combative, testing and compelling as his show debut.

Marler voiced his opposition to Wallabies star Israel Folau’s controversial social media posts, which have seen him reprimanded by Rugby Australia, and declared, “Hatred isn’t wanted in the world.”

Marler did include Folau in a ‘Best 15’ selection of players he had shared a rugby pitch, and his additional reason for naming the Aussie fullback had a hint of mischief.

As part of ‘The Perfect Pour’ section of the show, Marler and Tindall were asked to come up with a Best XV of players they had shared a pitch with, either on the same or the opposing team.

Considering that both men faced a myriad of world-class stars while representing their clubs, and England, the selection process required some thought, and hefty debate.

Marler opted for a non-English XV and had seven All Blacks legends in his team, with three from Ireland, two Welsh, two Australians and a Fijian nicknamed ‘The Bus’.


1. Tony Woodcock (New Zealand)
2. Rory Best (Ireland)
3. Carl Hayman (New Zealand)

4. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
5. Paul O’Connell (Ireland)

6. Jerome Kaino (New Zealand)
7. Justin Tipuric (Wales)
8. Kieran Read (New Zealand)

9. Will Genia (Australia)
10. Dan Carter (New Zealand)

11. Siteveni Sivivatu (New Zealand)
12. Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand)
13. Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
14. Josua Tuisova (Fiji)
15. Israel Folau (Australia)

On selecting Folau as his fullback, Marler commented, “On the night out, after we had played our match on the Saturday, I’d take him out in Brighton to The Blue Oyster… a couple of clubs.”

Once he got his tight- and loose-heads sorted out, Tindall revealed his team.


1. Trevor Woodman (England)
2. Phil Greening (England)
3. Carl Hayman (New Zealand)

4. Martin Johnson (England)
5. Bakkies Botha (South Africa)

6. Richard Hill (England)
7. Bobby Skinstad (England)
8. Sergio Parisse (Italy)

9. George Gregan (Australia)
10. Dan Carter (New Zealand)

11. Jonah Lomu (New Zealand)
12. Will Greenwood (England)
13. Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
14. Seru Rabeni (Fiji)
15. Jason Robinson (England)

As for why he opted for Dan Carter over former teammate Jonny Wilkinson, Tindall said, “Wilk had a period where he was better but, over his full international career, Carter was better… he just did it consistently.”

Subscribe here to JOE’s House of Rugby:

Episode 28 sees host Alex Payne joined by Mike Tindall and Joe Marler to discuss Israel Folau, summer holidays and Best XVs.