Jordan Crane has picked the best XV that he played against during his Premiership career. Jordan began his career at Leeds Tykes in 2005, before moving to play most of his career at Leicester Tigers where he racked up 154 Premiership appearances and three England caps. He then moved to Bristol Bears where he played 27 Premiership matches before announcing his retirement from the game this season.
He has won four Premiership titles and personally played in five Premiership Finals. He also has one runners up medal from the 2009 Heineken Cup Final.
Here is Jordan’s choices as the Best XV he has ever faced…
1. Soane Tonga’uiha (Northampton Saints, 2006-13) – He was massive for Northampton when they were at their best. We used to single him out in training before the big Derby’s.
2. Schalk Brits (Saracens, 2009-18) – Broke the mould of a hooker. He could change any game, he was that good.
3. Phil Vickery (Gloucester, 1995-2006; London Wasps, 2006-10) – He was massive for Wasps when they were dominating and was my roommate when I first got into the England squad. All round great guy.
4. Simon Shaw (London Wasps, 1997-2011) – Massive physical presence and unbeatable at the front of the lineout.
5. Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints, 2011-15) – He was so good for Northampton, think he got man of the match pretty much every time he played.
6. Jacques Burger (Saracens, 2010-16) – Absolute nails. I remember the one year in the Prem Final, I catch the ball off KO, looked up and saw him coming headfirst at my knees, only one winner…
7. Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers, 1996-2010; Bath, 2010-12) – Not sure if I played against him in the Prem, but when I was starting out, he punched me in an A League game which he likes to bring up. But what a player and imagine him and Burger in the same backrow!
8. Sebastian Chabal (Sale Sharks, 2004 – 09) – Iconic. An absolute beast!
9. Danny Care (Leeds, 2003-06; Harlequins, 2006 – Present) – We started out together at Leeds, but he has gone on to be consistently the best 9 in the Prem for the last decade. Top class!
10. Jonny Wilkinson (Newcastle Falcons, 1997 – 2009) – What can you say? The greatest English player ever.
11. Sailosi Tagicakibau (London Irish, 2005-14) – Unplayable at times. Big, quick and great feet.
12. Brad Barritt (Saracens, 2008 – Present) – Absolute glue player, don’t think Sarries would have had all their success without him.
13. Seilala Mapusua (London Irish 2006-11) – Absolute heartbeat of the dominant London Irish side in 2009.
14. Jason Robinson (Sale Sharks, 2000-07) – When I was at Leeds, we played Sale. I couldn’t even touch the man on kick chase let alone tackle him…
15. Alex Goode (Saracens, 2008 – Present) – Consistently outstanding. Makes rugby look easy.