Sean Fitzpatrick's best New Zealand XV from the Tri-Nations and Rugby Championship
By Sky Sports Rugby Union
Last Updated: 16/08/18 5:23pm
In 16 Tri-Nations Championships, New Zealand won 10 titles. In six Rugby Championships to date, the All Blacks have won five of them.
The men in black have dominated the southern hemisphere - and world rugby - for some time and as such have produced some of the game's greatest ever players.
We've seen Marcelo Bosch select his greatest Argentina XV, Thinus Delport pick his best Springbok XV and Michael Lynagh name his greatest Wallabies XV. Now it's the turn of former All Black skipper Sean Fitzpatrick.
Some big names are naturally left out, such has been the depth of talent in New Zealand, but some of the best old stagers combine with current performers in a quite stunning selection.
In the back three, the classy Christian Cullen takes the full-back slot, with Ben Smith edging out former All Black wing Jeff Wilson on the right and the late, great Jonah Lomu on the left.
In the centres, Conrad Smith and Ma'a Nonu rekindle their fearsome partnership ahead of the likes of Frank Bunce and Walter Little respectively, both of whom Fitzpatrick considered.
The half-backs required little thought, with Dan Carter and Aaron Smith regarded as two of the best in their positions, perhaps of all time.
In the forwards, Tony Woodcock holds off competition from both Joe Moody and Craig Dowd to earn the loosehead spot, with Dane Coles picked by Fitzy in his old position of hooker and Olo Brown receiving the nod ahead of Owen Franks a tighthead.
Current All Black second row pairing Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock are seen by most as the best lock pair to ever play the sport. Fitzpatrick agrees and slots them straight in.
And in the backrow, retired trio Michael Jones, Richie McCaw and Zinzan Brooke take 6, 7 and 8 respectively.
Sean Fitzpatrick's All Blacks XV: 15 Christian Cullen, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Jonah Lomu, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith; 1 Tony Woodcock, 2 Dane Coles, 3 Olo Brown, 4 Brodie Retallick, 5 Sam Whitelock, 6 Michael Jones, 7 Richie McCaw, 8 Zinzan Brooke.
What do you make of Sean Fitzpatrick's XV? Who would you have included? Tweet us @SkySportsRugby with your selections.