Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 1 – Ian McLauchlan vs Tendai Mtawarira

Tune in for the sixth instalment of Miles Harrison’s rugby fantasy land XVs as he picks a pre-1994 Golden Oldie loosehead prop to take on a ‘Young One’.

  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: The 10s
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 8
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: Full-backs
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 4
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: Scrum-half

These are teams with players who raise the spirits, ones that get you out of your seat. This could be down to their flair, skills and speed or because of their power, strength and physical presence.

These fantasy teams are not claiming to have the very greatest players in their positions although in all cases they are inevitably truly great players, the selection is about making sure that these teams would play the most amazingly entertaining rugby that the selector could possibly dream of.

Next on the team sheet is the loosehead prop, the player who thrives in trying to dominate the tighthead come scrum time. Miles Harrison has selected two impressive technicians of the darks arts who also have the ball skills to make it at the top level.

Ian McLauchlan won 43 caps for Scotland between 1969 and 1979, skippering them on 19 occasions. He also played for the British and Irish Lions eight times touring New Zealand in 1971 and South Africa four years later.

On the Young Guns team, we present Sharks stalwart Tendai Mtawarira. With 117 caps for South Africa, Mtawarira has produced some exceptional performances including dismantling Phil Vickery during the first Test of the 2009 Lions Tour. More recently he was praised for his performance against England in the 2019 World Cup final.

The Golden Oldie: Ian McLauchlan

Mighty Mouse was a favourite prop when I was growing up. For starters, what kid is not going to love his nickname? But, the Scot just seemed to have the lot, tackling the toughest of scrums head-on but, in this side, you need more than that and he had it, constantly popping up all over the field.

He also was a central figure for Scotland that famous day against Wales in front of the world record crowd of 104,000 in 1975. A game, that because of the most amazing atmosphere, made a lasting impression on any who saw it.

The packed terracing, the flags, the old rectangular Murrayfield scoreboard, the pitch invasion at the end. Old school mayhem and Mighty Mouse too.

The Young One: Tendai Mtawarira

If only for audience participation it has to be ‘The Beast’ at loose-head prop.

But, over the years, there’s been so much more from the Springbok than the cry of his name from the stand. A scrummager supreme and with speed to go with it.

The ideal modern prop and, yes, an out and out crowd pleaser too. You can’t really ask for any more than that. Os du Randt had it all too and got the crowd going but this time it’s the Beast who pips it for me.

Selection is by its very nature a very personal choice and, coupled with that thought, is the fact that you can’t look back over all the years and not miss a few. This is where you come in. I want your selections and for you to tell me who I might have missed and exactly why you have made your choices? @skysportsmiles

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