Best Decisions in Sport: have your say on Sky Rugby's shortlist
Last Updated: August 7, 2013 9:45am
Decision-making is at the heart of sport.
It can turn a game on its head and be the difference between glory and failure. To celebrate great decisions the experts at Sky Sports have found 'The 50 Best Decisions in Sport' so you can vote for which you think is the best of all time, and have the chance to win a top prize.
Our Expert Panel has already had its say on football, F1, cricket and golf - now it's the turn of rugby union and to help you make a decision we've enlisted the help of Scott Quinnell, Stuart Barnes and Miles Harrison.
Take a look at their picks and then vote for your favourite at www.skysports.com/decisions. Voting closes on August 14.
Mandela wears his shirt with pride
The Springbok jersey was to many disenfranchised South Africans a hated symbol of the apartheid era. For a black man, who spent 27 years imprisoned under white minority rule, to proudly wear the green jersey of Afrikaner Francois Pienaar changed the mindset of the country. Quite apart from the wider significance in uniting the nascent Rainbow nation, it also galvanised Pienaar and his team to upset the odds and beat the much fancied All Blacks, sparking scenes of wild celebration across South Africa.
McGeechan makes Lions
The Lions tour of South Africa in 1997 was their first in the professional age - and they were not expected to beat the hosts, who had lifted the World Cup two years earlier. Lions coach Ian McGeechan picked Martin Johnson as captain, but his key decision was to choose six former rugby league players:
Gibbs, Bentley, Bateman, Tait, Young and Sky Sports' very own Scott Quinnell. Rugby league had been a professional sport for years, and the six former league players helped drive a disciplined approach into the Lions squad. McGeechan's decision proved a great success, and the Lions won the series 2-1.
Jonny Sexton's half time talk 2011 Heineken Cup final
At half time in the 2011 Heineken Cup final, Northampton, leading Leinster 22-6, might have been forgiven for thinking they already had one hand on the trophy. But if they were, they didn't reckon on the intervention of Leinster fly half Jonny Sexton. Sexton took it upon himself to deliver the half-time team talk, inspiring his team mates to achieve one of the greatest comebacks ever seen in the game. In the process, he helped himself to two tries and an incredible 28 points in a peerless display of running and kicking. Leinster, against all the odds, lifted the trophy.
Gareth Edwards chooses rugby over football
The best decision ever made for the good of British (especially Welsh) rugby was taken by the great Gareth Edwards in the 1960s. Edwards was being molded for stardom by the legendary rugby coach Bill Samuel, but Swansea City (the football club) were also taking a keen interest in the multi-talented sportsman. However, the lure of rugby prevailed and Edwards became one of the world's finest scrumhalves. He starred for Wales in the great side of the '70s, and played a central role in the Lions first ever series win in New Zealand in 1971 and their success three years' later in South Africa.
Wilko knows his left from his right
Jonny Wilkinson's rise to prominence in world rugby was as much down to his dedication and hard work as it was to his talent. Predominantly left-footed, Wilkinson would practice for hours on the training pitch aspiring to perfection. His decision to train even harder so he could kick with both feet would pay off in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final. With seconds left and the scores level, Dawson fed the ball to Wilkinson who unerringly struck the winning drop goal - with his 'wrong' foot.
Warren Gatland drops Brian O'Driscoll for Lions clash
O'Driscoll delighted with series win
British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland made one of the biggest and bravest calls in modern rugby when he decided to leave Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll out of the final Test against Australia this year.With the Test series tied at 1-1, the final game was to be the clincher and there was uproar when the decision was made public. But Gatland was vindicated when the Lions roared to an emphatic 41-16 victory to claim a 2-1 tour win, ending 16 years of hurt in the Southern Hemisphere.
Lomu makes his mark
Jonah Lomu only had two caps for New Zealand before being named in the All Blacks' World Cup squad of 1995. However any thought that this decision might have been a gamble were dismissed as Lomu set the world alight. Despite losing in the final to the host, this was Lomu's tournament where he became top scorer and tormented England in the semi-final.