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Just The Stats: Against The Lions XV

Having analysed the best and most consistent players for the Lions using nothing but statistics, we have put together teams based on those individuals who have faced the Lions.

It includes players from the big three (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa), but also some Fijian and Argentinian names crop up.

We will start with the ‘Winners XV’, which is made up of the players with the most wins against the Lions.

Winners XV

The team is dominated by All Blacks, but a few South Africans appear in Dawie de Villiers and Jannie Engelbrecht.

1) John Ashworth (4)
2) Andy Dalton (4) / Bruce McLeod (4) / Tane Norton (4)
3) Ken Gray (4)
4) Colin Meads (7)
5) Andy Haden (7)
6) Ian Kirkpatrick (4) / Waka Nathan (4) / Mark Shaw (4)
7) Kel Tremain (6)
8) Brian Lochore (4) / Murray Mexted (4)

9) Dawie de Villiers (5)
10) Mac Herewini (4)
11) Jannie Engelbrecht (4) / Bernie Fraser (4) / Anthony Steel (4)
12) Ian MacRae (4) / Steven Pokere (4)
13) Ron Rangi (4) / Warwick Taylor (4)
14) Bryan Williams (4) / Stu Wilson (4)
15) Allan Hewson (4) / Mick Williment (4)

Most Tests XV

It is, of course, a great honour to play for your country against the Lions, an opportunity that only arises every twelve years now.

However, a number of players have been good enough for a long enough period to be selected for multiple series.

New Zealand legend Colin Meads has played more tests against the Lions than anyone else: an astonishing 11 tests in total.

Loosehead prop Enrique Bustamante is the only Argentinian to feature here, having played against a ‘British’ representative team in four tests, losing all of them.

Back rower Fairy Heatlie certainly has an interesting back story. This writer wrote an article about his life which you can find here.

1) John Ashworth (4) / Jazz Muller (4) / Enrique Bustamante (4) / Beau Cottrell (4) / Chris Koch (4) / Jack Hazlett (4) / Fanie Kuhn (4) / Mof Myburgh (4) / Wilson Whineray (4) / Richard Prentis (4)
2) Tane Norton (8)
3) Hannes Marais (8)
4) Colin Meads (11)
5) Johan Claasen (8) / Frik du Preez (8) / Andy Haden (8)
6) Ian Kirkpatrick (8)
7) Jan Ellis (8)
8) Fairy Heatlie (7)

9) Dawie de Villiers (6)
10) Naas Botha (4) / Mac Herewini (4) / Bennie Osler (4) / Keith Oxlee (4) / Clive Ulyate (4) / Piet Visagie (4)
11) Bryan Williams (7)
12) Bert Cooke (4) / Willie du Plessis (4) / Eben Olivier (4) / Bill Osborne (4) / Steven Pokere (4) / Des Sinclair (4) / Warwick Taylor (4) / Wang Wyness (4)
13) Pierre Albertyn (4) / John Gainsford (4) / Ron Rangi (4) / Roy Roper (4) / David Smith (4)
14) Jannie Engelbrecht (5) / Gerrie Germishuys (5)
15) Don Clarke (4) / Rodney Gould (4) / Allan Hewson (4) / George Nepia (4) / Gysie Pienaar (4) / Bob Scott (4) / Mick Williment (4) / Lionel Wilson (4)

Try Scorers XV

Lastly, we come to the ‘try scorers xv’, made up of the players who have scored the most tries in each position against the Lions.

Three Fijians feature here: Josefa Rauto, Vuata Narisia and Atonio Racika  were all part of the country’s historic win over a Lions XV in Suva in 1977.

1) Os du Randt (1) / Brad Johnstone (1) / Chris Koch (1) / Fanie Louw (1) / Phil Mostert (1) / Josefa Rauto (1) / Hector Wilson (1)
2) Sean Fitzpatrick (1) / Bruce McLeod (1) / Jan Lotz (1)
3) Alec Burdon (1) / Francis Glasgow (1) / Tony Miller (1) / John Smit (1)
4) Andy Haden (2)
5) Ali Williams (2)
6) Waka Nathan (3)
7) Hugh McLean (2) / Vuata Narisia (2)
8) Nic Van Druten (1)

9) Sid Going (2) / Fred Roberts (2) / Joost Van Der Westhuizen (2)
10) Bob Burgess (2) / Dan Carter (2)
11) Theuns Briers (5)
12) Willie du Plessis (2) / Ron Elvidge (2) / Bert Cooke (2) / Jimmy Hunter (2)
13) Tana Umaga (3)
14) Ralph Caulton (4) /  Tom Van Vollenhoven (4) / Stu Wilson (4)
15) Greg Martin (2)

Will any All Blacks be able to squeeze themselves into any of these teams when the tour comes around in 2017? Only time will tell.

Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.