- Ask Steven
England's Holy TrinityJohn GriffithsMarch 4, 2014
Which unit has started most tests together as a back-row? Rav4
Richard Hill, Lawrence Dallaglio and Neil Back started 37 Tests together as England's back-row unit.
They first played in combination against South Africa in November 1997, early in Clive Woodward's time as head coach. Back always played in the No.7 role but Dallaglio and Hill had alternate spells as No.6 and No.8 during a run that culminated in triumph at the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The winning Final against Australia was their last Test together.
The three went on three British & Irish Lions tours - to South Africa in 1997, to Australia in 2001 and to New Zealand in 2005 (when Back was called out of international retirement). They never, however, started together in a Test for the Lions.
John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.