Rugby World Cup: Ireland Greatest XV v Wales Greatest XV - Who Would Win?

Ireland vs Wales in the Quarter Finals of a Rugby World Cup, it doesn't get much tougher than this. Before we dig into the modern equivalent on Saturday, let's see how they could have fared through the ages...
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Greatest Ever Ireland XV

15. Girvan Dempsey
Probably count the number of highballs he dropped on one hand. 4th all-time try scorer and 4th all-time capped. [8]

14. Shane Horgan
Scored so many tries for Ireland, but also scored some of the most memorable tries - usually against England. [8]

13. Brian O'Driscoll
The only words needed here are Brian O'Driscoll [10]

12. Mike Gibson
My dad said if I thought O'Driscoll was good should watch Gibson. Was Ireland's most capped player until 2005. [10]

11. Simon Geoghegan

He was so fast and exciting in a time when Ireland were...not. [9]

10. Ronan O'Gara
Legend says Jack Kyle is, but hard to argue with the man with over 100 caps and 3rd highest point scorer of all time. [8]

9. Peter Stringer
He allowed Ireland to develop a word-class backline with his bullet passing and always managed his forwards perfectly [8]

8. Anthony Foley
There is argument that he never produced his Munster form for Ireland...but that doesn't mean he wasn't the best 8 we ever had. [9]

7. Fergus Slattery
So, so destructive. His Lions tour of South Africa in 74 is the stuff of legend [9]

6. David Wallace

Was he ever a classic 7...hrmm. So good he could play across the backline. Must have the most go-forward-yards for Irish backrower. [8]

5. Willie John McBride

5 Lions tours. FIVE! He was and still is such a inspirational man. Hard as nails too [10]

4. Paul O'Connell
Still writing his legacy but as a lock has it all. 'Fear of God' speech is the stuff of legends [9]

3. John Hayes
Over 100 caps in the front row. Lift a man in the lineout on his own. Crying at the national anthem. Legend. [9]

2. Keith Wood
One who lead by example and his fierce physicality. Scored LOADS of tries for a hooker [10]

1. Marcus Horan
Solid as a rock for over a decade. [8]

Total: 133

Wales Greatest Ever XV

15: JPR Williams
Looked like a roadie for Led Zeppelin but played like a dream. The most iconic rugby player of the 70s full-stop. [10]

14: Shane Williams
The diddyman who weaves between the gym-honed monsters of today has scored a record 51 tries. [9]

13: John Dawes
Never lost to England, captained the Lions on their only victory in New Zealand and coached Wales to glory. [9]

12: Scott Gibbs
Tackled like a beast, ran like a wing and never asked for or gave a quarter. [8]

11: Gerald Davies
Floated like a butterfly, stung like a bee and refused to tour South Africa in 1974 due to his stance on apartheid. [9]

10: Barry John
Retired at 27 but his nickname was the King and that, surely, is enough. Greatest tactical kicker in the history of rugby. [10]

9: Gareth Edwards
Thought of by many as the greatest player ever. Tremendous sideburns in his pomp and the vision of a hawk. [10]

8: Mervyn Davies (c)
A true monster of Rugby’s golden age. Had a 74% win ratio and won three Grand Slams and Triple Crowns. [9]

7: John Taylor
Known as Basil Brush, he’s famously remembered for his touchline conversion against Scotland in 1971. [8]

6: Colin Charvis
More reinventions than Radiohead, Charvis tackled like a bastard and is the highest scoring forward in test history. [8]

5: Delme Tomas
The influential Llanelli captain was a master of the black arts of the scrum and tasty in a ruck. [9]

4: Brian Price
An ever-present in the Welsh pack for the entire 60s, the massive Price was the original master of the lineout. [8]

3: Graham Price
Price of Pontypool amassed an incredible 12 Lions caps in his career and was the cornerstone of the best pack in Welsh history. [9]

2: Bryn Meredith
A member of the great post-war team, Meredith was an intelligent hooker who ran wild in the loose. [9]

1: Gethin Jenkins
Hair like a punter at Download but he’s as quick as a back. 18 stone of modern rugby forward. [9]

Total: 134

So, Wales have snatched it by a point. Only time will tell if we will get the same result in Saturday's quarter final, for everyone's mental health lets just hope it isn't that nail-bitingly close.

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