Du Preez, Joost feature in debate for greatest ever scrumhalves

Fourie du Preez and Joost van der Westhuizen
Fourie du Preez and Joost van der Westhuizen

Former Springbok scrumhalves Fourie du Preez and Joost van der Westhuizen have been rated among the best ever No 9s by a renowned British publication.

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Stuart Barnes and Stephen Jones, two respectable writers for The Times, recently picked their 10 best ever scrumhalves and had notable mentions for Du Preez and Van der Westhuizen.

Both writers had Wales and British & Irish Lions great Gareth Edwards as their best ever scrumhalf, with Barnes rating Du Preez at No 2 and the late Van der Westhuizen at No 6.

Jones picked Du Preez at No 5 but could not find a spot in his top 10 for Van der Westhuizen.

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Both writers had no doubt over the greatness of Edwards, who played 53 Tests for Wales and 10 for the Lions between 1967 and 1978.

Jones wrote that Edwards was "a very, very special athlete and player" and a "talent, frankly from another planet".

Barnes added that he watched Edwards "walk on water during the Lions' two greatest tours (1971 in New Zealand and 1974 in South Africa). It was no coincidence that the iron grip of the All Blacks and Springboks was broken in the era of Edwards".

Stuart Barnes' 10 best ever scrumhalves: 1 Gareth Edwards (Wales), 2 Fourie du Preez (South Africa), 3 George Gregan (Australia), 4 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 5 David Loveridge (New Zealand), 6 Joost van der Westhuizen (South Africa), 7 Conor Murray (Ireland), 8  Rob Howley (Wales), 9 Justin Marshall (New Zealand), 10 Fabien Galthie (France)

Stephen Jones' 10 best ever scrumhalves: 1 Gareth Edwards (Wales), 2 Matt Dawson (England), 3 Nick Farr-Jones (Australia), 4 David Loveridge (New Zealand), 5 Fourie du Preez (South Africa), 6 George Gregan (Australia), 7 Gary Armstrong (Scotland), 8 Mike Phillips (Wales), 9 Rob Howley (Wales), 10 Terry Holmes (Wales)

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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