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Dean Hall’s Perfect XV

Former Springbok wing Dean Hall picks a dream team of those he played with and against during his 10-year career.

15 Christian Cullen
The best attacking fullback in the history of the game. Christian’s greatest ability was his perfect timing into the attacking line which he always hit with unbelievable pace. He was the most balanced player I have seen.

14 Bryan Habana
With his electrifying pace, Bryan was a try-scoring machine. He came through the Lions U21s as a centre and offered a very good defensive game. He moved to the wing where he found his stride and stamped his mark in world rugby.

13 Japie Mulder
Japie and I had a special connection, both of us coming from Springs. His physicality and intensity was unmatched. He would always be in the face of our opposition and never backed down.

12 Ma’a Nonu
He was a supreme attacker, strong runner and elusive player who was rock-solid on defence. Ma’a thrived in broken play and any defence that gave him an inch of space paid dearly with tries.

11 Jonah Lomu
The most prolific player to run with the rugby ball. Jonah at full speed was like a runaway freight train. We tried many tactics to stop him but the only thing that worked was if one of us flew into him as hard as we could to slow him down for a split second.

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10 Dan Carter
I was lucky to play in an era of some of the greatest flyhalves world rugby has seen. To me, Daniel Carter was the most complete flyhalf who offered a good passing game, tactical kicking and defensive game. He had an uncanny ability to control games.

9 Joost van der Westhuizen
What made Joost so good was he kept the defensive pillars next to the ruck always in doubt. They never knew if he intended to pass/kick or go for the break.

8 Toutai Kefu
I still carry the remnants of a broken sternum from this big unit. Toutai was a strong runner from the base of the scrum, always scanning the defence for the slightest opportunity to attack. He always stamped his physicality on the game.

7 Schalk Burger
I played against Schalk once when he was a young player coming through for Western Province. A skilful, hard, grinding player with a dog-fight determination who always leads from the front.

6 George Smith
George took everything we could throw at him. He had the ability to get to the breakdown before anyone else and forced more turnovers than any player I’ve seen.

5 Mark Andrews
A true leader of men, Mark was a very good lineout jumper and liked to mix it up front in the engine room. He brought so much experience and was an intimidating force and tough competitor.

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4 Johan Ackermann
The most conditioned and strongest forward I have had the pleasure of playing with. When Johan got his hands on the ball nothing could pry it from his hands. His fitness and mobility was like having another loose forward on the field.

3 Pieter de Villiers
The South Africa-born French scrum guru. Just before engagement you could see the smile on his face as he loved going to the darkest corner of the scrum.

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2 Bismarck du Plessis
I was at the end of my career when I met a young Bismarck at the Sharks. He was a very strong scrummager and a wrecking ball in the loose. Bismarck had a natural farm strength that I really admired.

1 Os du Randt
Was good in the scrum and deceptively quick off the mark for his size. Os caught many attacking players who made the mistake of running near his channel. A big tackler!

Photo: Ross Land/Getty Images

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