Rugby World Cup 2019: Which Footballers Make Our Rugby Squad?

1. Adebayo Akinfenwa

One of the most powerful men in football, Akinfenwa would suit the prop position down to the ground. Strength is crucial for any prop and the Wycombe Wanderers striker is the ideal player to lead the forward unit.

2. Fabio Cannavaro

Cannavaro ticks all the right boxes to succeed as the team’s hooker. His leadership skills would be handy, particularly at line-outs and when controlling a rolling maul. One of the most committed men in sport, the Italy legend makes the cut.

3. Wes Morgan

Not afraid to throw his weight around, Morgan is the perfect tighthead prop. Like with Akinfenwa, he is exceptionally strong and won’t take any nonsense in and around the ruck. He doesn’t score often but when he does, it’s always a special moment.

4. Peter Crouch

Crouchy would make a good lock. His huge frame would help him to get over the gain line and would give the team a major advantage at line-outs. Meanwhile, his influence in the changing room would help keep morale high… literally.

5. Jaap Stam

As Crouch’s partner at five, you don’t get much better than Stam. A natural leader, the Dutchman would give the team a reliable pair of hands and his impact at the scrum and at the breakdown would be clear for all to see.

6. Roy Keane

Keane is a number six to a tee. On the football pitch, he made a name for himself for his drive and determination in midfield and he would be the perfect blindside flanker. Winning the ball back is Keane’s speciality while he could also contribute with the occasional try.

7. Vinnie Jones

Another battle axe at seven, Jones was part of Wimbledon’s crazy gang in the 1980s. On the rugby pitch, Jones would be one of those players you try to avoid – discipline may be a bit of an issue but he would strike the fear of God in opposing players.

8. Duncan Ferguson

The Everton legend was nicknamed ‘Big Dunc’ for a reason. Similar to ‘Big Billy’ Vunipola, Ferguson could take on the 8 role. Although much slender than Vunipola, he would be tough to bring down once he got motoring and he can put the team on the front foot.

9. Dennis Wise

The perfect choice for scrum half. Wise loves to get involved and the number nine touches the ball more than any other player on the pitch. He doesn’t mind getting down and dirty but can also spark an attack – doesn’t get as much recognition as other back positions.

10. Andrea Pirlo

The playmaker. Your number 10 needs to control the game and who is better at that than Pirlo? Although often playing in second gear, Pirlo’s accuracy with the boot would suit the fly-half role and his place kicking would prove beneficial to the team.

11. Cristiano Ronaldo

One of the best finishers of all-time, Ronaldo is an absolute must. He has the physique, he has the speed and he has the nous to shine as a rugby winger. Defensively, he may fall a little short but his attacking threat is so great that he cannot be dropped.

12. Paul Scholes

Scholes can take on the Owen Farrell role. Playing at centre, Scholes would be heavily involved in build-up play while he will also score plenty of tries. Not afraid to get stuck in, he has one of the most important roles on the team and that will only maximise his impact.

13. Zinedine Zidane

Alongside Scholes, we have Zidane. A slightly bigger option at 13, Zidane’s creativity and unselfish attitude are his best traits. One of the most skilful players on the team, he can offload in the tightest spaces in order to benefit his teammates.

14. Adama Traore

A speed demon. Like Ronaldo, Traore is the ideal candidate to feature on the wing – mainly due to his incredible burst of speed. A strong kicking game from Pirlo and Scholes would be beneficial from Traore and he could be used in a similar way to England’s Jonny May.

15. Steven Gerrard

Reliable, controlled and a leader – three traits needed to be a full back and Gerrard ticks all of the boxes. Capable of turning defence into attack in a split second, Gerrard is the ideal full back and he is one of the most consistent players on the team.

Replacements:

16. Marco Matterazzi

17. Virgil van Dijk

18. Neil Ruddock

19. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

20. Romelu Lukaku

21. Lionel Messi

22. Raheem Sterling