The North of England has a distinguished and proud French marriage history and it’s fitting that England head for their Rugby World Cup warm-up game that is final.
In celebration of England’s first Test match in Newcastle, we have assembled a team of the best rugby players in the North of the country.
Full-back
No discussions here. Jason Robinson would create most’Greatest Ever’ sides. Wigan’s cross-code feeling moved winning a Grand Slam, The Rugby World Cup, along with the English Premiership for Sale Sharks and made his debut against Italy in 2001.
Wings
1980 has been England’s first outright championship trainer since 1963. Back in Victory, England head coach Mike Davis declared he had five world class players: Fran Cotton, Peter Wheeler, Roger Uttley, Tony Neary along with Mike Slemen. Slemen edges his England team-mate John Carleton out of Orrell.
In more recent decades, John Bentley, Austin Healey, Mark Cueto and Chris Ashton were exceptional talents, however the wing position is taken by Middlesbrough-born Rory Underwood, the RAF fighter pilot remains England’s top try scorer ever with 49.
Centres
2 Sedbergh and Durham University alumni make up our pairing. World Cup Winner Can Greenwood plays in England’s three-time Grand Slam-winning captain Will Carling. The World Cup spouse Mike Tindall of greenwood just misses out.
Fly-half
1991 was a hectic year in the Farrell household. Andy Farrell made his Wigan debut and had his first kid. Owen Farrell would follow his father’s footsteps to Saracens in which the fly-half has developed into one of the best players on the planet. Here are a few top-class No 10’s who would have to scrap it out to the bench: Alan Old, Rob Andrew, Paul Grayson, and George Ford.
Scum-half
Orrell’s Dewi Morris and also Leeds Tykes’ Danny Care are scrum-halves of prestige and style. With three Lions Test begins on a trip to New Zealand and 2 Grand Slams into his title, Dewi Morris with socks is in at 9.
Props
Forty years ago, the North of England beat the mighty All Blacks in Otley to a wet November afternoon. Five forwards from the North’s pack make our starting eight, including Fran Cotton and props Colin White.
Gosforth’s Colin White,”’the ‘, has been a tree surgeon by trade. He inadvertently cut off his fingers with a chainsaw realised on the way to hospital he calmly turned out to collect them and had forgotten his hands. He came back in the accident to acquire four caps for England.
Fran Cotton is much better recognized to followers, the former England captain was a part of their British Lions series triumph in South Africa, 1974.
Hooker
Brian Moore known as’Pitbull’, had three Grand Slams to his title 1991,’92 and’95. He completes our front row that is uncompromising.
Second Row
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont was captain in the North of England if they conquer captain of England and the All Blacks at 1979 . He’s of course our captain in the No 4 Jersey.
The partner in the engine area would be ‘8″ Wade Dooley, the Police officer that was a part of a victorious Lions tour and has two Grand Slams to his title. 2013 Lion Geoff Parling would include a pair of legs from the seat.
Back Row
Broughton Park’s Tony Neary was not only a part of the North’s win over the All Blacks but he also played in the pioneering team of England to win in South Africa and New Zealand in the 1970’s. He gets our shirt that is openside.
Roger Uttley out of Gosforth RFC is the fifth part of the 1979 North of England pack – a granite like forward who made his name to the 1974 Lions Tour to South Africathat he has no 8 shirt to provide space for Geordie Mickey Skinner about the blindside.
You might easily swap these three for a backup back of Rodber, Winterbottom and Peter Dixon, these is the conveyor belt of talent from the North.
North of England XV
15 Jason Robinson
14 Mike Slemen
13 Will Carling
12 Can Greenwood
11 Rory Underwood
10 Owen Farrell
9 Dewi Morris
1 Colin White
2 Brian Moore
3 Fran Cotton
4 Bill Beaumont
5 Wade Dooley
6 Mickey Skinner
7 Tony Neary
8 Roger Uttley
Following is a coaching ticket this group of players would deserve…
DOR: Sir Ian McGeechan
Coach: Brian Ashton
Coach: Alex Sanderson
Lineout trainer: Steve Borthwick
Defence coach: Shaun Edwards
Manager: John Spencer

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