With the end of the decade only a few weeks away, the RUGBY.com.au team has picked its best XV from each of the Australian Super Rugby sides.
The selections were based on a combination of different factors, ranging from success in the team, statistical achievements, club leadership and overall on-field impact. If they weren't long-serving stars, the selected players made up for it with huge impact and influence in their short stint at the franchise.
In our opinion, anyway!
Let's start with the Queensland Reds.
1. James Slipper (10-18)
Debuted for the Reds two months into 2010 and was a mainstay for the next nine seasons, including two years as captain. Played over 100 games for Queensland before a controversial departure to Brumbies in 2019. Has played 96 Tests for Australia. Honourable mention to Ben Daley.
2. Saia Faingaa (09-16)
One of the talented Faingaa clan, Saia played 99 times for the Reds and was on deck for the famous 2011 title win. A hard-edged hooker never took a backward step, and also played 36 Tests for the Wallabies.
3. Greg Holmes (05-16)
The most-capped Red in Super Rugby with 144 games, Holmes was the rock of Queensland for 11 seasons between 2005 and 2016. Never flashy but rarely beaten at the scrum, Holmes received a fitting Wallabies recall after an eight-year absence and played a key role in the 2015 World Cup.
4. James Horwill (06-15)
'Big Kev’ was a big force as a young man and after being made Reds captain as a 21-year-old in 2008, he led Queensland to Super Rugby glory in 2011. Finished with 116 Super caps, and also skippered the Wallabies in a 62-Test career. Rated as "one of the great modern-day sporting treasures of Queensland” upon his departure.
5. Rob Simmons (08-17)
Hailing from tiny Theodore, Simmons was another Queensland stalwart who poured his heart into 112 Super Rugby games across ten seasons, before strangely falling out of favour and moving to NSW in 2018. Brought up his 100th Test for the Wallabies at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
6. Scott Higginbotham (08-13, 18-19)
With the skillset of a back and the aggression of a junkyard dog, Higginbotham was a key asset for Queensland in two stints (he skippered Melbourne in between). He brought up 100 games for Queensland in 2019 and holds the Super Rugby record for most tries scored by a forward (40).
7. Liam Gill (11-16)
A brilliant no.7 who played 76 games for Queensland between 2011 and 2016, Gill was a constant menace at the breakdown to any rival team. Competing against David Pocock and Michael Hooper, Gill’s paltry 15 Test caps gives insight why he sadly moved overseas. Many Queenslanders hope the 27-year-old will return one day.
8. Radike Samo (10-13)
After debuting for the Brumbies a full decade earlier, on the wing, Samo arrived in Queensland as injury cover but soon made himself indispensable. As a forward. Played no.8 at the age of 35 in the 2011 title winning team, and played 23 Tests for the Wallabies.
9. Will Genia (07-15)
Another member of Queensland’s 100 club, Genia (115 games) was a consistently brilliant leader of the Reds. Scored the winning try of the 2011 win, and generated countless other wins. Played 105 Tests for the Wallabies as well.
10. Quade Cooper (06-18)
Much-loved magician whose free-wheeling ambition, talent and spirit captured the 2011 title-winning team, and brought punters through the gates. Played 118 games before an acrimonious departure in Played 70 Tests for Australia.
11. Rod Davies (09-15)
Rocket Rod was aptly named, scoring some brilliant tries in his 58 games for the Reds with express pace and evasive talent. On the end of some of the best Reds’ tries from their “entertainers” era. Just edged Luke Morahan.
12. Samu Kerevi (15-19)
Talismanic centre on a par with modern-era Ballymore greats Horan, Herbert and Little. Kerevi's ability to bust tackles and create tries saw him become the Reds’ main attacking force in the second half of the decade. Played 76 games for Queensland, and captained them in 2019.
13. Ant Faingaa (09-16)
Put his body on the line for Queensland in every one of his 90 Super Rugby games in red. A fearless tackling style and a deafening vocal presence meant rivals always had one eye on Faingaa. Played 23 Tests, including at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
14. Digby Ioane (08-13)
Ioane was a unique machine, able to step, sprint away and perform a post-try dance like no other. Ioane’s finishing and hard-yards into the teeth of defence were greatly valued in the 2011 title season, and many others in his 66-game career. The Wallabies enjoyed his talent in 35 Tests as well.
15. Ben Lucas (08-14, 18)
Honourable mention to Jono Lance and Mike Harris but, a little during like his career, Ben Lucas has to be put in the team. Somewhere, anywhere. Ultra-reliable and consistently good on his 82 Super games for the Reds.
COACH: Ewen McKenzie