OK, here is my team of pretty boys: the Handsome XV. The post that describes my fantasy league rules is here.
1. Loosehead prop: Mihaita Alexandru Lazar of Romania
In the world of props this guy is like Brad Pitt. It helps that he’s in the loosehead position and doesn’t have his head crushed between two other players, I guess.
2. Hooker: Pat Riordan of Ireland
It’s slim pickings when it comes to handsome hookers, but Riordan is OK.
3. Tighthead prop: Anthony Perenise of Samoa
Perenise must be a winger who put on a lot of weight and ended up in the scrum – he’s far too handsome to be a typical prop.
4. Lock: Heinz Koll of Namibia
Koll is pretty ‘meh’, but I was struggling for a good selection here, owing to other players in the team forcing me to discount strong options from their nationality for this position. He’s inoffensive and I suppose he’d appeal to some women.
5. Lock: Victor Matfield of South Africa
Matfield could be a polarising choice, but he was an easy selection for me. He’s the manliest man in international rugby.
6. Blindside flanker: Louis Stanfill of the USA
To choose Stanfill I’ve had to see beyond his child-molester moustache, obviously. Beneath that terrible facial hair there lurks a solidly good-looking American chap.
7. Openside flanker: John Barclay of Scotland
Och aye! Barclay is easy on the eye.
8. No. 8: Nick Easter of England
Easter is average at best – he’s a lucky man to make the cut here but, as with Koll at lock, I was short of options.
9. Scrum Half: Mike Phillips of Wales
Phillips must be the most handsome man in Wales – that was a national team that could have filled many of the positions in my Unfortunate XV.
10. Fly Half (or ‘First 5/8th’ in NZ): Francois Trinh-Duc of France
Trinh-Duc is lucky to make the cut – so many players in this position are hotties. But I think he’s a very good choice.
11. Left Wing: Digby Ioane of Australia
There weren’t many Australians troubling me for selection into the Handsome XV, but I think that Ioane is a fair choice – he’s got such a nice face. Actually, the only other Aussie who was in the running for selection was Genia at scrumhalf, but Phillips was far too handsome to be ignored.
12. Inside Centre (or ‘Second 5/8th’ in NZ): Seremaia Bai of Fiji
Bai is a bit lucky to get the call here – he benefitted from the ‘one player per nation’ selection policy. But he’s a decent-looking fella, so I’m OK with it.
13. Outside Centre (or ‘Centre’ in NZ): Marcelo Bosch of Argentina
Bosch has what we in the business describe as ‘rakish good looks’.
14. Right Wing: Richard Kahui of New Zealand
The easiest selection ever.
15. Fullback: Andrea Masi of Italy
Masi is just one of many examples of handsome Italian players.
So that’s my Handsome XV! I predict great things from them throughout the tournament. Here’s their coach:
John Kirwan was a clear winner in a pool of pretty fugly coaches.