A historical First XV of famous Australian faces

Madrid john Roar Rookie

By Madrid john, Madrid john is a Roar Rookie


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    Is there something unique about how rugby is played in this great Southern Land? By crikey there is!

    Isolated for eons, infused with the marsupial, martial spirit – Australian rugby reflects our vast open spaces, hence the instinct to run the ball towards them. Other lands are densely populated and thus display an innate desire to punch the ball up, directly into the meat of the traffic.

    Now that I’ve stated the obvious, how, I hear you ask, do we achieve this on the pitch and still walk away with the lollies after 80 minutes? Good question, Michael.

    When composing a crack unit to assault the heights of international rugby, one should reflect upon the traits shared by the giants of our cultural compost. So, after laboriously sifting through the exploits of champions, martyrs and legends across every field of endeavour in our humble, yet glorious homeland, I give you…

    Australia’s historical First XV – Men’s

    1 Bert Newton. From the head down, the man was purpose-built to hold up a scrum.

    2 Ned Kelly. First picked in my team. If you want a hard-headed hooker, who keeps coming out firing even when the game is up, Ned’s your man. He was even wearing headgear before it was a thing.

    3 Rupert Murdoch. Your tighthead has to strike fear into opposition packs. I ask you, who knows more about the dark arts than Rupes? (Just picture the man with cauliflower ears – scary).

    4 Greg Norman. It would not be the first time the Wallabies have entrusted goal-kicking duties to the second row. His range with the ball is undeniable and who better to take that very kickable penalty when everything is on the line and only seconds left to play?

    5 Paul Hogan. An obvious choice really. The man has a lot of experience with lifting and having worked on the Harbour Bridge, you know he’s good with heights.

    6 and 7. Just like our current crop, this squad has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to pilfering. So, it was a tough call, but Christopher Skase gets the seven and Alan Bond carries off the six given his extra size.

    8 John Laws. What a delight for players and viewers alike to have Mr Golden Tonsils himself calling the throws at lineout, or gently goading the pack to higher feats of exertion from the back of the scrum. What’s more, when inspired to do so, the man really can give something a good push.

    9 Bob Hawke. Picks himself here. Fast on his feet, a dashing set of teeth and head of hair that is a marketer’s dream. (He is also in charge of organising the third half).

    10 John Curtin. He gets the nod and the captaincy. Sure, it’s a controversial pick, but the chemistry between the halves is assured. Curts is also a proven performer under pressure and is not afraid to make the big calls.

    11 Mark ‘Chopper’ Read. Perhaps a surprise selection for some, but those that know their rugby, know that scoring in the corner is all about the speed. Nuff said.

    12 and 13: Robert Burke and John Wills. This centre pairing has proven success in dominating the middle of the park. You’ll get no crabbing to the left or right from this partnership, just a dogged desire to truck it up north-to-south, come what may.

    14 Patrick White. This selection is for the rugby traditionalists; those that remember the days when wingers were anonymous. Well, Patrick White is the only Australian to have won a Nobel Prize for literature. Ever heard of him?

    15 Henry Lawson. We all know fullbacks are superfluous, I should know, that’s where I played. So, Lawsie can make himself useful on game day by standing out there and writing something nice about the match, to read out to the team after. (I would have picked Banjo Paterson, but because of his grandmother on his father’s side, Scotland have just signed him).

    Coach: Phar Lap. Yes, I realise the obvious issue here, but all the best coaches are Kiwis. Provided his heart was in it, and oh what a heart, he has a winning mentality second to none. Also, you can bet he wouldn’t be asking for much of a package. And right at the minute, that is kind of a plus.

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    The Crowd Says (23)

    • January 15th 2018 @ 8:27am
      JohnnoMcJohnno said | January 15th 2018 @ 8:27am | ! Report

      Disappointed you cant find room for Douglas Mawson. If you can find your way to the South Magnetic Pole, you can find your way to pretty much any try-line. Used to spending long periods isolated in freezing conditions so must be considered for a wing spot.

    • January 15th 2018 @ 8:52am
      RT said | January 15th 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      How is Kerry Packer not in the forward pack? A great brute of a man with a short fuse

    • Roar Rookie

      January 15th 2018 @ 9:09am
      Madrid john said | January 15th 2018 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      I knew that would happen. You pick a team, put it up and immediately discover you’ve over-looked obvious candidates who are in the form of their lives!

    • January 15th 2018 @ 9:21am
      sheek said | January 15th 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

      Madrid John,

      Interesting & amusing…..

      I did one years ago with Robin Hood & His Merry Men, just to demonstrate how rugby was a game for all sizes & persuasions. I actually had a full XV, but the memory dims. Here’s a sample.

      Friar Tuck – tight head prop

      Little John (vc) – lock

      Will Scarlet – flanker

      Will Gamble – flanker

      Much the Miller – scrumhalf

      Robin Hood (c) – flyhallf

      Azeem the Moor – centre

      George A’Green – winger

      Alan A’Dale – fullback

      In another version I had King Richard the Lionheart at eightman, & his minstrel Blondin at hooker.

      The two Wills were actually different characters. Scarlet I think was the older cousin to Robin & Gamble a young hothead. Or the other way around!

    • January 15th 2018 @ 10:28am
      The Sheriff said | January 15th 2018 @ 10:28am | ! Report


      Some creative picks here; John Curtin is my favourite…..
      Yes, I think you should have put Kerry Packer in there somewhere, maybe instead of Hoges

    • Roar Guru

      January 15th 2018 @ 10:34am
      Machooka said | January 15th 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

      Very good Madrid john… excellent festive read!

      Just a quick observation… Rupert (aka Darth Vader) shouldn’t have been picked due to his (now) American citizenship 😉

      Regardless, good team… also an excellent coach to hold the reins when needed.

      • January 15th 2018 @ 12:29pm
        Muzzo said | January 15th 2018 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

        Hi Chook!1. Pretty true about Murdoch,mate, but to be truthful, I would love to give the sleazy grub, some sort of a “touch up”, at the bottom of a ruck or maul. It would be something he would make headlines of for years to come, or what years he has left!! Lol.