First and foremost, wings should run like the wind – though the ability to accelerate quickly is more meaningful than a player’s time for 100m. Beating a defender through feints, shimmies and sidesteps is desirable, and if you also carry 16st-plus of ballast into contact then so much the better. Defensively, wings must be utterly fearless and dependable under the high ball and have the tactical awareness to cover the backfield, working in a pendulum with your fellow wing and full-back. Above all, wings must be deadly finishers and must relish the limelight – you can be very exposed out there!

John Kirwan scoots past a Welsh defender

John Kirwan won the 1987 World Cup with New Zealand. The attacking prowess he showed in that tournament alone, set him up to be one of the greatest wingers of…

Shane Williams scores against Australia

Shane Williams defied the normal stereotype of an international winger, and the Welshman did it by scoring 60 tries in 87 Tests. One of the great wingers of our time

David Campese scores against Ireland

With 64 tries in 101 Tests, David Campese was for years the record try-scorer among the leading nations. But mere stats can't do justice to this coruscating Australian talent

Bryan Habana crosses the whitewash

South Africa winger Bryan Habana was the first Bok to dot down 50 times in Test rugby, one record of many, that thrusts him into the bracket of greatest wingers…

Jonah Lomu

The late Jonah Lomu was a bona fide global superstar. The New Zealand winger's name can be linked with the term ‘shock and awe’.

Gerald Davies of Wales runs with the ball during the Welsh tour to Australia.

Major teams: Llanelli, Cambridge University, London Welsh, Cardiff Country: Wales Test span: 1966-78 Wales caps: 46 (46 starts) Lions caps: 5 (5 starts) Test points: 81 (23T) Such was Davies’…

Rory Underwood evades the Australian defence

Major teams: Leicester, Bedford Country: England Test span: 1984-96 England caps: 85 (85 starts) Lions caps: 6 (6 starts) Test points: 215 (50T) Born in Middlesborough in 1963 to a…

Tony O'Reilly playing for the Lions

Major teams: Old Belvedere, Leicester, London Irish Country: Ireland Test span: 1955-1970 Ireland caps: 29 (29 starts) Lions caps: 10 (10 starts) Test points: 30 (10T) O’Reilly also did longevity,…