We’ve chosen a chain link symbol to denote this position, because the inside-centre (12) and outside-centre (13) work in unison. Between them they encompass many different qualities, and an outstanding 12 could be ineffective at 13 and vice versa. The 12 might be a bludgeon who crashes the ball up, or equally might act as a ‘second fly-half’, with kicking skills and immaculate passing distribution. At 13, you must have more pace, preferably the sort to take you arcing round your marker to create a two-on-one, and both players should be defensively impeccable.

Jeremy Guscott of England

Major teams: Bath Country: England Test span: 1989-99 England caps: 65 (62 starts) Lions caps: 8 (8 starts) Test points: 150 (31T, 3DG) The grander the stage, the greater the…

Welsh centre Bleddyn Williams

Major teams: Cardiff Country: Wales Test span: 1947-55 Wales caps: 22 (22 starts) Lions caps: 5 (5 starts) Test points: 24 (8T) That was just another chapter of Williams’s astounding…

Ireland's Mike Gibson representing the Lions

Major teams: North of Ireland, Cambridge University Country: Ireland Test span: 1964-79 Ireland caps: 69 (69 starts) Lions caps: 12 (11 starts) Test points: 112 (9T, 7C, 16P, 6DG) He…

Tim Horan of Australia

Major teams: Queensland Reds, Saracens Country: Australia
 Test span: 1989-2000 Australia caps: 80 (80 starts) Test points: 140 (30T) As his boyhood pal and centre partner Jason Little told Australia’s…

Yannick Jauzion scores against New Zealand in the 2007 World Cup

Major teams: Colomiers, Toulouse
 

Country: France
 
Test span: 2003-11
 France caps: 73 (65 starts) 

Test points: 103 (20T, 1DG) The professional era has seen midfields crowded with mighty collisions between…

Phillipe Sella of France

Major teams: Agen Position: Centre Country: France Test span: 1982-95 Test caps: 111 (110 starts) Test points: 125 (30T) For becoming the first player to win 100 Test caps, Philippe…

South Africa's Danie Gerber

Major teams: Eastern Province, Western Province Position: Centre Country: South Africa Test span: 1980-92 Test caps: 24 (24 starts) Test points: 82 (19T, 1C) From Eastern Province, Gerber emerged on…

Jeff Butterfield of England

Major teams: Northampton Country: England Test span: 1953-59 England caps: 28 (28 starts) Lions caps: 4 (4 starts) Test points: 27 (8T, 1DG) Jeff Butterfield was a stylish centre who…