Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 12 – Mike Gibson vs Scott Gibbs

In the latest instalment of Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land XVs, he picks his second pre-1994 Golden Oldie inside centre 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
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: Loosehead
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 13
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 7
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 11
  • Miles Harrison’s Rugby Fantasy Land: No 5

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.

Up for grabs today is the No 12 spot where we have Mike Gibson and Scott Gibbs getting the nod for their respective teams.

Gibson is regarded as one of the finest players of his generation winning 69 caps for Ireland between 1964 and 1979. He toured with the British and Irish Lions four times including their 1971 series win over the All Blacks.

On the ‘Young Ones’ team we have Scott Gibbs. Gibbs won 53 caps for Wales and toured with the Lions in 1993, 1997 and as late replacement on the 2001 tour. He produced one of the defining moment of the 1997 series against South Africa when he powered through Os du Randt, putting the Springbok prop down.

The Golden Oldie: Mike Gibson

When I read this team out to my wife and I said Mike Gibson was at ’12’ her response was, of course he is.

I think over the years I might have gone on a little too much about the great Irish centre who, of course, could also play beautifully at fly-half or on the wing for that matter.

But, he was always going somewhere in this team as he had the classiest of touches in all that he did – hands, running lines, boot, brain, you name it.

And, quite important too, even from afar, you could tell he was such a gent, a sportsperson to be admired on and off the pitch.

The Young One: Scott Gibbs

One of the very near misses, perhaps nearest of them all, in this team is Jerry Guscott. I’m sure he will be a selection of many of you and with plenty of good reasons.

But, I have gone for his Lions centre partner, Scott Gibbs at inside centre and I would love to see him play alongside Brian O’Driscoll too. What a combination they would be. I’m actually finding it hard to think of a more powerful midfield presence, pound for pound, in the professional era than Scott.

And, that power came with such a ferocious competitive spirit, it was virtually unstoppable. Just ask Os du Randt!

And, then there was Wembley in 1999. There are different ways to thrill in rugby and those moments when Gibbs ran through the opposition are rugby power personified.

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

Tell me the stories that make your picks so special to you. The possibilities are endless so let your imagination run riot. But, remember, when making your selections for this match, the players selected must make your heart sing.

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