Each passing week, there seems to be another rugby star who calls time on their career. Last weekend alone saw Canada and Clermont legend Jamie Cudmore hang up his boots.
That got us thinking here in Pundit Arena HQ; what would the best XV of players who have retired this season look like?
Here is what we’ve come up with. Feel free to suggest any changes you might make.
15. Drew Mitchell
The Australian flyer had a glittered career in Super Rugby and later with Toulon, as well as with the Wallabies. Across 71 caps with Australia, he showed he was a world class talent at fullback or on the wing.
14. Aurélien Rougerie
The French winger has indicated that this will be his final season, and will be aiming to bow out on a high with Clermont. The giant winger always brought speed and impact with ball in hand.
13. Nick De Luca
The Scottish winger may not have featured for the national team since 2014, but he has been with Wasps this season. At 33, he is calling it a day.
12. Johan Goosen
He has quit rugby, so qualifies for this list, at the time of writing at least. A special talent.
11. Sean Lamont
Lamont’s retirement means that we have a sizeable set of wingers on the team. A true warrior for Scotland in years that they struggled to make a breakthrough.
10. Nick Evans
His send-off at Harlequins showed how much he was appreciated at the Stoop. Had he stayed in New Zealand, he would likely have a pair of World Cup medals in his back pocket.
9. Mike Phillips
The Welsh scrum-half brought a different style to the game, but his bruising nature was thoroughly effective in a fruitful era for Wales.
1. Marcos Ayerza
A world-class loosehead and scrummager. He anchored both the Argentinian and Leicester Tigers set-pieces for 13 years.
2. Carlo Festuccia
Perhaps not as high-profile as some of the other members of this team, the Italian hooker has 54 caps to his name, and featured for Wasps in recent seasons.
3. Mike Ross
Ross was as important a player to the Irish team as anyone for a number of seasons. Luckily for Ireland, they are well stocked at tighthead following his retirement.
4. Ian Evans
The Welsh lock has been forced into retirement due to medical advice. 33 Welsh caps and touring with the Lions in 2013 make for an impressive CV.
5. Jamie Cudmore
Arguably the greatest Canadian rugby player we have seen, Cudmore made the grade as he led the line for Clermont over the years.
6. Kelly Brown
The Saracens flanker is calling it a day, but gave it his all for the Borders, Glasgow Warriors, the London-based side and indeed Scotland.
7. Thierry Dusatoir
A France and Toulouse legend. We’ll make him captain of this side for good measure.
8. Mamuka Gorgodze
Although Gorgodze has only retired from international rugby rather than the club game, we decided to bend the rules a bit here for a special talent and a Georgian legend.
Make sure to tune into the latest episode of the Oval Office, where we discuss the Lions back three, and preview the Champions Cup final.
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