All Sports Fantasy Rugby XV

10:15 AM GMT

It is almost that time of year again, when club rivalries are put to one side and the eyes of the northern hemisphere are turned towards the Six Nations.

And as we build towards the 2017 edition of the championship, and the return of ESPN’s Fantasy Rugby, our writers have decided to have some fun.

In between deliberations over who would make their own lineup this year, has been a much wider debate: Who would be selected for an ‘All Sports XV’?

We have therefore taken the liberty of producing our own, and we believe this team would take some beating.

15. Novak Djokovic

Could the 12-time Grand Slam champion provide a threat from the back? ESPN

The Serbian covers the tennis court better than most — and would have the awareness and speed to take care of the backfield and counter on attack.

14. Usain Bolt

The Jamaican has run the length of a rugby pitch in 9.58 seconds. ESPN

The fastest man in the world would cause havoc on the wing — not to mention his size, standing just under two metres tall.

13. Odell Beckham Jr.

Would you fancy tackling the New York Giant in midfield? ESPN

One of the most naturally gifted players in the NFL could easily transfer his skills to union. Possesses a great pair of hands and has the ability to run a perfect line in midfield.

12. Sir Chris Hoy

Could Sir Chris Hoy run it straight like Mathieu Bastareaud? ESPN

The leg power of the six-time Olympic gold medallist would surely see him break the gain line more often than not. Unlike most of our fantasy XV, Hoy has actually played rugby during his school days in Edinburgh.

11. Cristiano Ronaldo

Would Ronaldo thrive on the edge with the oval ball? ESPN

The Portuguese and Real Madrid star is all too familiar with playing on the wing — but could prove a liability on defence.

10. Rory McIlroy

McIlroy will run the show from fly-half. ESPN

A regular at the Kingspan supporting Ulster, the Northern Irishman should have a big boot to match his superb drive.

9. Lewis Hamilton

He can drive a car, could he drive the forwards around? ESPN

The three-time Formula One champion has the body type for a scrum half — and isn’t unfamiliar with ball sports having played football and cricket in his school days.

1. Shane Warne

The master of spin could put the twist on at scrum time. ESPN

A good team man and tactician who would certainly throw a sledge or two come scrum time.

2. Michael van Gerwen

There’s none better at hitting the target than MVG. ESPN

Given his accuracy with the arrow, the Dutchman is a logical selection at hooker if he can find the jumper at the lineout.

3. David Ortiz

Ortiz brings a power game. ESPN

You get the impression Big Papi would welcome the collision — and would be a player you’d avoid running straight at!

4. LeBron James

Could LeBron be an athletic second-row like Maro Itoje? ESPN

LeBron’s height sees him slot in at second row, with his ball handling skills to be a key at lineout time. Who needs a lifter?

5. Anthony Joshua

Joshua would rack up plenty of lineout steals. ESPN

The IBF heavyweight champion has the size but is also mobile, while its always handy to have a player who can pack a punch.

6. Michael Phelps

Could be handy with a wet ball? ESPN

The greatest Olympian excelled in the pool — so why not on the pitch? Another big lump of a lad to provide some go forward as well.

7. Conor McGregor

The Irishman would be a pest at the breakdown. ESPN

The UFC fighter may have to bulk up a tad, but his mixed martial arts background will come in handy as he fetches at the breakdown.

8. Sidney Crosby

Could the Pittsburgh Penguins captain glide through a defence in rugby? ESPN

The face of the NHL makes ice hockey look effortless, so surely rugby would be a lot easier. He has the vision and hand eye coordination to be a solid No. 8.

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