Simply the best: a hall of fame for the game's greats
There was an Englishman, an Irishman, a Scotsman, a Frenchman, a Welshman and an Italian...
For a bit of fun this week, let's pick our best; mine and yours. Who is your favourite player from each of the Six Nations countries over the last 40 years?
I grew up in the 1970s and I am still watching great matches from the Five and Six Nations and marvel at the abundance of talent from all of the teams that have graced the field of play.
But how on earth do you choose from such a glittering array of stars?
The Italians are probably the easiest to analyse due to the brevity of their presence at the top level. One name sticks out for me: Diego Dominguez, the Argentina-born stand-off, who scored 983 points in 74 test matches. He was brilliant. Five foot eight and a half and eleven and a half stones of kicking beauty.
The Welsh? Oh man oh man. Where to start? I played against JPR Williams, marvel at Shane Williams and Mike Roberts, watched Ieuan Evans and his magic tricks, Jonathan Davies and his spark, Terry Cobner and the grit.
And I idolised the legendary Pontypool front row (the great Scottish lock Gordon Brown, 'Broon from Troon', had to shift to prop during a game in Cardiff in the 1970s and was told by the Pontypool front row, who could destroy him, that he would be much more comfortable if he put his legs back a bit).
The English: Again, what a list! I remember being taken apart by Andy Ripley after the great man had retired - what a player he was. Bill Beaumont was a Lions captain and Grand Slam winner who would often say to us: "I like the sound of leather on leather."
Guscott and Carling were both superb, Martin Johnson as good as anyone in the world. Then we have Dean Richards, Rory Underwood and Roger Uttley, it's a seemingly impossible list.
The French have always been scarily packed with top quality players. Serge Blanco, Philippe Sella, Rives, Skrela (the father of the current one), Dominici, Haget, Rodriquez, Berbezier, and a list of people who could combine thuggery with artistry quite subtly as it happens.
One of the above tried to kick me and another Scottish player with full swings to the head during a big game, and you would be surprised at which one it was.
Ireland: I have said before that Fergus Slattery swinging at me in my first international was a wonderful moment and he was superb. Ollie Campbell, Willie John McBride, Willie Duggan, Moss Keane, right up to the current generation of O'Driscoll and O'Connell, who have done so much to forge their country's greatness.
And what about Scotland? Eric Liddell, the 400m gold medallist at the 1924 Paris Olympics who was born in China, David Leslie, Andy Irvine, Mighty Mouse, Jim Renwick, the Brown brothers, John Rutherford, Finlay Calder, my little list goes on.
But here goes:
England: Martin Johnson - won a World Cup and was a winning British Lion.
Ireland: Brian O'Driscoll - frankly, at his peak he was a freak.
Wales: Phil Bennett - starting that try against the All Blacks and a winning British Lion.
Italy - Diego Dominguez.
France - Serge Blanco. Utterly unforgettable.
Scotland - John Rutherford. Sheer class.
What about you? Go on; remind me of people I have forgotten - just the last forty years...