The best of the best
- Credit: Phil Mingo/Pinnacle
I can probably only talk about this subject from a rugby point of view and what I have experienced over the years but a favourite conversation of mine is when you debate around the best of the best that you have played with.
Intelligent, skilled, the right physical attributes, mindset and determination are some of the standout traits. When I think back to who I have shared a changing room within my time in sport there are some great characters that ticked all the boxes.
The likes of Jack Nowell, Sereli Naqelevuki, Colin Charvis, Dean Mumm to name a few, something that jumps straight out to me is the willingness to put their body on the line without considering the detriment to themselves.
These men would bring it daily to the training paddock. A very difficult thing to do, when I think back, they never seemed to have an off day, or it never showed.
Both Mummsy and Charv were proven international performers and brought that to the table every week. Both would set the tone once the whistle had blown and for the entire 80 minutes, doing the hard yards, key hits, and the dark arts at the breakdown, often Charv would steal a turnover you never thought possible.
From a backs point of view, it was easy for me to see how Jack and Sereli differed from most, and only wished I could just borrow a little of their quality. Not the only world class players I’ve played with but the two that really do stick out. Both players could turn a game on its head, creating something out of nothing.
Both Jack and Sereli possess the power, footwork, and skills us mere mortals could only dream about. A killer instinct and complete approach to training, Jack is completely committed to improving all aspects of improving his game through training, nutrition, and preparation.
Reli, on the other hand, simply cruised training, laughing his way through sessions while he dummied and jog his way around you. Old school vs new school at its finest.
Sometimes you can understand the ability they have and sometimes even replicate it but often I would simply stand back and admire it, clumsily forgetting that I needed to get back in the game.