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6Ns average ages

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LeinsterFan4life
dummy_half
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No 7&1/2
beshocked
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propdavid_london
Biltong
Poorfour
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DeludedOptimistorjustDave
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Scratch
GunsGerms
Portnoy's Complaint
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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Thu 06 Mar 2014, 6:14 pm

This data is based on data provided by ESPN http://www.espn.co.uk/scrum/rugby/match/fixtures/international.html and selecting matches.

The data where necessary is presented in decimal years and assumes 365¼ days per year.

User digest:
Country/Starters' ø age/Bench ø age/Squad ø age
England 25.29 25.04 25.20 [ed] 4th round 25.54 25.86 25.65
France 26.77 26.39 26.64
Ireland 29.38 25.50 28.03
Italy 27.70 28.42 27.95
Scotland 27.40 29.05 27.98
Wales 27.18 25.91 26.74 [ed] 26.63 26.74 26.67

England
Code:
DoB Age (decimal yrs)
15 Michael Noel Brown 04/09/1985 28.50
14 Jack Thomas Nowell 11/04/1993 20.90
13 Luther Davis Burrell 06/12/1987 26.25
12 William Wesley F. Twelvetrees 15/11/1988 25.31
11 Jonathan James May 01/04/1990 23.93
10 Owen Andrew Farrell 24/09/1991 22.45 Ave Backs
9 Daniel Stuart Care 02/01/1987 27.18 24.93
1 Joseph William G. Marler 07/07/1990 23.67
2 Dylan Michael Hartley 24/03/1986 27.95
3 David George Wilson 09/04/1985 28.91
4 Joseph Oliver Launchbury 12/04/1991 22.90
5 Courtney Linford Lawes 23/02/1989 25.03
6 Thomas Andrew Wood 03/11/1986 27.34
7 Christopher Denis C. Robshaw 04/06/1986 27.76
8 Benjamin John Morgan 18/02/1989 25.05 Ave Forwards 26.08
 Average Starters' age 25.54
16 Thomas Nicholas Youngs 29/01/1987 27.10
17 Makovina Wanangarua I Whanga Nui-Atara Vunipola 13/01/1991 23.15
18 Henry Morgan Thomas 30/10/1991 22.35
19 David Michael J. Attwood 05/04/1987 26.92
20 Thomas Anthony Johnson 16/07/1982 31.64 Ave Repl. Forwards 26.23
21 Lee Alwyne Walter Dickson 29/03/1985 28.94
22 George Thomas Ford 16/03/1993 20.97
23 Alexander David Goode 07/05/1988 25.83 Ave Repl. Backs 25.25
 Average Bench age 25.86
Average Squad age 25.65

France
Code:
DoB Age (decimal yrs)
15 Brice Dulin 13/04/1990 23.90
14 Yoann Huget 02/06/1987 26.76
13 Mathieu Bastareaud 17/09/1988 25.46
12 Maxime Mermoz 28/07/1986 27.61
11 Maxime Medard 16/11/1986 27.30
10 Jules Plisson 20/08/1991 22.54 Ave Backs
9 Maxime Machenaud 30/12/1988 25.18 25.54
1 Thomas Domingo 20/08/1985 28.54
2 Brice Mach 02/04/1986 27.93
3 Nicolas Mas 11/12/1982 31.23
4 Pascal Pape 05/10/1980 33.42
5 Yoann Maestri 14/01/1988 26.14
6 Sebastien Vahaamahina 21/10/1991 22.37
7 Alexandre Lapandry 13/04/1989 24.90 Ave Forwards
8 Damien Chouly 27/11/1985 28.27 27.85
 Average Starters' age 26.77
16 Guilhem Guirado 17/06/1986 27.72
17 Vincent Debaty 02/10/1981 32.42
18 Rabah Slimani 18/10/1989 24.38
19 Alexandre Flanquart 09/10/1989 24.41 Ave Repl. Forwards
20 Antonie Delport Claassen 20/10/1984 29.37 27.66
21 Jean-Marc Doussain 12/02/1991 23.06
22 Remi Tales 02/05/1984 29.84 Ave Repl. Backs
23 Gael Fickou 26/03/1994 19.95 24.28
 Average Bench age 26.39
Average Squad age 26.64

Ireland
Code:
DoB Age (decimal yrs)
15 Robert Kearney 26/03/1986 27.95
14 Andrew David Trimble 20/10/1984 29.37
13 Brian Gerald O'Driscoll 21/01/1979 35.12
12 Gordon William D'Arcy 10/02/1980 34.07
11 David Kearney 19/06/1989 24.71
10 Jonathan Sexton 11/07/1985 28.65 Ave Backs
9 Conor Murray 20/04/1989 24.88 29.25
1 Cian Eoin Healy 07/10/1987 26.41
2 Rory David Best 15/08/1982 31.56
3 Michael Avery Ross 21/12/1979 34.21
4 Devin Toner 29/06/1986 27.69
5 Paul Jeremiah O'Connell 20/10/1979 34.38
6 William Iain Henderson 21/02/1992 22.04
7 Christopher Henry 17/10/1984 29.38 Ave Forwards
8 James Peter Richard Heaslip 15/12/1983 30.22 29.48
 Average Starters' age 29.38
16 Sean Cronin 06/05/1986 27.83
17 Jack Cormac McGrath 11/10/1989 24.40
18 Martin Joseph Moore 01/10/1991 22.43
19 Rhys Ruddock 13/11/1990 23.31 Ave Repl. Forwards
20 Jordi Murphy 22/04/1991 22.87 25.78
21 Eoin Reddan 20/11/1980 33.29
22 David Patrick Lindsay James Jackson 05/01/1992 22.17 Ave Repl. Backs
23 Fergus McFadden 17/06/1986 27.72 27.72
 Average Bench age 25.50
Average Squad age 28.03

Italy
Code:
DoB Age (decimal yrs)
15 Luke Joseph McLean 29/06/1987 26.69
14 Angelo Esposito 14/06/1993 20.73
13 Michele Campagnaro 13/03/1993 20.98
12 Gonzalo Manuel Garcia 18/02/1984 30.05
11 Leonardo Sarto 15/01/1992 22.14
10 Luciano Orquera 12/10/1981 32.40 Ave Backs
9 Tito Tebaldi 23/07/1987 26.62 25.66
1 Alberto de Marchi 13/03/1986 27.98
2 Leonardo Lorenzo Ghiraldini 26/12/1984 29.19
3 Martin Leandro Castrogiovanni 21/10/1981 32.37
4 Quintin Geldenhuys 19/06/1981 32.71
5 Marco Bortolami 12/06/1980 33.73
6 Raffaele Joshua Furno 21/10/1989 24.37
7 Paul Edward Derbyshire 03/11/1986 27.34 Ave Forwards
8 Robert Julian Barbieri 27/11/1985 28.27 29.50
 Average Starters' age 27.70
16 Davide Giazzon 16/01/1986 28.13
17 Michele Rizzo 16/09/1982 31.47
18 Lorenzo Cittadini 17/12/1982 31.22
19 Antonio Pavanello 13/10/1982 31.39 Ave Repl. Forwards
20 Ratu Manoa Seru Vosawai 12/08/1983 30.57 30.56
21 Edoardo Gori 05/03/1990 24.00
22 Tommaso Allan 26/04/1993 20.86 Ave Repl. Backs
23 Robert Julian Barbieri 05/06/1984 29.75 24.87
 Average Bench age 28.42
Average Squad age 27.95

Scotland
Code:
DoB Age (decimal yrs)
15 Stuart William Hogg 24/06/1992 21.70
14 Thomas Samuel Fenwick Seymour 01/07/1988 25.68
13 Alexander James Dunbar 23/04/1990 23.87
12 Matthew Clive MacCrimmon Scott 30/09/1990 23.43
11 Sean Fergus Lamont 15/01/1981 33.14
10 Duncan Weir 10/05/1991 22.82 Ave Backs
9 Greig David Laidlaw 12/10/1985 28.40 25.58
1 Ryan Grant 08/10/1985 28.41
2 Scott Lawson 28/09/1981 32.44
3 Geoffrey Dominic Sebastian Cross 11/12/1982 31.23
4 Richard James Gray 24/08/1989 24.53
5 James Leigh Hamilton 17/11/1982 31.30
6 John William Beattie 21/11/1985 28.29
7 Kelly David Robert Brown 08/06/1982 31.74 Ave Forwards
8 David Kipling Denton 05/02/1990 24.08 29.00
 Average Starters' age 27.40
16 Ross William Ford 23/04/1984 29.87
17 Alasdair Granville Dickinson 11/09/1983 30.48
18 Euan Alistair Murray 07/08/1980 33.58
19 Timothy James Montagu Swinson 17/02/1987 27.05 Ave Repl. Forwards
20 Ryan Wilson 18/05/1989 24.80 29.15
21 Christopher Peter Cusiter 13/06/1982 31.73
22 Duncan McWilliam Taylor 05/09/1989 24.50 Ave Repl. Backs
23 Maxwell Brian Evan 28/09/1983 30.44 28.89
 Average Bench age 29.05
Average Squad age 27.98

Wales

Code:
DoB Age (decimal yrs)
15 Stephen Leigh Halfpenny 22/12/1988 25.20
14 Alexander Charles G. Cuthbert 05/04/1990 23.92
13 Jonathan James Vaughan Davies 05/04/1988 25.92
12 Jamie Huw Roberts 08/11/1986 27.33
11 George Philip North 13/04/1992 21.90
10 Rhys Priestland 09/01/1987 27.16
9 Rhys Webb 09/10/1988 25.41 Ave Backs 25.26
1 Gethin David Jenkins 17/11/1980 33.30
2 Richard Martin Hibbard 13/12/1983 30.23
3 Adam Rhys Jones 08/03/1981 33.00
4 Jake David Ball 21/06/1991 22.71
5 Alun-Wyn Jones 19/09/1985 28.46
6 Danny John Lydiate 18/12/1987 26.22
7 Sam Kennedy Warburton 05/10/1988 25.42
8 Tangaki Taulupe Faletau 12/11/1990 23.32 Ave Forwards 27.83
 Average Starters' age 26.63
16 Kenneth James Owens 03/01/1987 27.17
17 Paul James 13/05/1982 31.82
18 Rhodri Powell Jones 23/12/1991 22.20
19 Andrew Coombs 27/10/1984 29.36
20 Justin Tipuric 06/08/1989 24.58 Ave Repl. Forwards 27.03
21 William Michael Phillips 29/08/1982 31.52
22 Daniel Rhys Biggar 16/10/1989 24.39
23 Liam Brian Williams 09/04/1991 22.91 Ave Repl. Backs 26.27
 Average Bench age 26.74
Average Squad age 26.67



Last edited by Portnoy's Complaint on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 6:33 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Post by GunsGerms Thu 06 Mar 2014, 6:25 pm

Whats this meant to prove? All teams are within a few years of each other in terms of average age.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Thu 06 Mar 2014, 6:30 pm

They are just stats, GG. Some people base whole cases and arguments on the Opta ones

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Post by Scratch Thu 06 Mar 2014, 6:33 pm

It proves England dropped Brown after finding out his middle name was Noel.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Thu 06 Mar 2014, 7:03 pm

Scratch wrote:It proves England dropped Brown after finding out his middle name was Noel.
Aye there're a few brassneck names passed down by heartless parents, Scratch. I quite like Makovina Wanangarua I Whanga Nui-Atara Vunipola.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 06 Mar 2014, 8:15 pm

Nothing really surprising in the stats, England the youngest squad and Ireland the oldest by a fair distance.

Be interesting to see the stats again post WC.

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Post by DeludedOptimistorjustDave Thu 06 Mar 2014, 8:26 pm

Bloody hell England ,the way the media spin on and on you swear they all where under 21.
But when you look at the age of the forwards there is nothing in it.

Every nation has a half decent 18year old winger they could throw in behind a seasoned pack and England have because they had to.

This young team line being spun is no different to the transition line used the previous five years.

It's all so optional , man up and stop making excuses before the game starts, every English player is a man just like there opposite number.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 06 Mar 2014, 8:30 pm

Which of England's wingers are 18? Who's complaining?

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Post by Scratch Thu 06 Mar 2014, 8:35 pm

Look it's desperation nothing else

240 minutes v Wales with no try
3 Lost games, no win for 3 years

Where else do you go to establish any confidence….the bookies?  laughing you also concentrate on the cheating Welsh, the cheating Walsh on the touchline, Welsh hatred, Gatlandball, Lions devalued…it's just all an indication of a desperate attempt to rile Wales and it's failing.

Please, please joe, NOT THE DARK PLACE!!!!!!! Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!  Shocked 

Didn't you know? The age of the opposition is now a key criteria to infer success because apart from taking apparently everything from coming back to beat Ireland, England has nothing to focus on except hype.

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Post by DeludedOptimistorjustDave Thu 06 Mar 2014, 8:36 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Which of England's wingers are 18? Who's complaining?
i don't know, the one with the crap hair from Exeter is the one I'm referring to, I presumed he must be around 18 because of his hair style,his immaturity in the press this week and the way the English have gone on about him he must be young?

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Post by DeludedOptimistorjustDave Thu 06 Mar 2014, 8:38 pm

Let's not forget the hand in the scrum, England shouldn't have won, but I have not seen any Irish calling foul play on 606.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:07 pm

Scratch, you seem to forge an argument from nothing, you live in a world of your own.

If anything I thought England's average would be a little lower, there's a fair few youngsters.

Dave, Nowell is 21 next month.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:10 pm

DeludedOptimistorjustDave wrote:Let's not forget the hand in the scrum, England shouldn't have won, but I have not seen any Irish calling foul play on 606.

How did we get from squad average ages to hands in scrums??

The OP has listed average ages of 6N squads, I can't see the issue.

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Post by Scratch Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:12 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
DeludedOptimistorjustDave wrote:Let's not forget the hand in the scrum, England shouldn't have won, but I have not seen any Irish calling foul play on 606.

How did we get from squad average ages to hands in scrums??

The OP has listed average ages of 6N squads, I can't see the issue.

So why post on the thread then?

Does your brain work THAT slowly that you can't see it….won't one post do to get your point, whatever that is, across?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:19 pm

I posted because I found the OP interesting, it's a forum.

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Post by Scratch Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:20 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I posted because I found the OP interesting, it's a forum.

Then instead of your pathetic little digs make a point, if you have one….methinks you probably don't

cue more witty repartee…. picard


Last edited by Scratch on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:22 pm

What pathetic digs? What are you going on about?


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Post by quinsforever Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:25 pm

Scratch wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:I posted because I found the OP interesting, it's a forum.

Then instead of your pathetic little digs make a point, if you have one….methinks you probably don't

cue more witty repartee…. picard
he hasnt made any digs. you should drop it scratch, else get forcibly dropped. you are working youtself up into a bit of a frenzy on several threads at the moment.

it's just a rugby match.

and a forum.

chill winston.

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Post by Scratch Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:27 pm

quinsforever wrote:
Scratch wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:I posted because I found the OP interesting, it's a forum.

Then instead of your pathetic little digs make a point, if you have one….methinks you probably don't

cue more witty repartee…. picard
he hasnt made any digs. you should drop it scratch, else get forcibly dropped. you are working youtself up into a bit of a frenzy on several threads at the moment.

it's just a rugby match.

and a forum.

chill winston.

yeah you're right, sub me off….where are those blood capsules?  Whistle 

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Post by Poorfour Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:59 pm

DeludedOptimistorjustDave wrote:Bloody hell England ,the way the media spin on and on you swear they all where under 21.
But when you look at the age of the forwards there is nothing in it.

Every nation has a half decent 18year old winger they could throw in behind a seasoned pack and England have because they had to.

This young team line being spun is no different to the transition line used the previous five years.

It's all so optional , man up and stop making excuses before the game starts, every English player is a man just like there opposite number.

The average age of the England forwards is roughly two years less than that of France or Wales, and 4 years less than the other three teams. But no need to let the facts get in the way, eh?
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Post by Scratch Thu 06 Mar 2014, 10:00 pm

Poorfour wrote:
DeludedOptimistorjustDave wrote:Bloody hell England ,the way the media spin on and on you swear they all where under 21.
But when you look at the age of the forwards there is nothing in it.

Every nation has a half decent 18year old winger they could throw in behind a seasoned pack and England have because they had to.

This young team line being spun is no different to the transition line used the previous five years.

It's all so optional , man up and stop making excuses before the game starts, every English player is a man just like there opposite number.

The average age of the England forwards is roughly two years less than that of France or Wales, and 4 years less than the other three teams. But no need to let the facts get in the way, eh?

So what, it has no meaning whatsoever. I think the level of experience of those players is much more telling.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 06 Mar 2014, 10:15 pm

Scratch wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
DeludedOptimistorjustDave wrote:Bloody hell England ,the way the media spin on and on you swear they all where under 21.
But when you look at the age of the forwards there is nothing in it.

Every nation has a half decent 18year old winger they could throw in behind a seasoned pack and England have because they had to.

This young team line being spun is no different to the transition line used the previous five years.

It's all so optional , man up and stop making excuses before the game starts, every English player is a man just like there opposite number.

The average age of the England forwards is roughly two years less than that of France or Wales, and 4 years less than the other three teams. But no need to let the facts get in the way, eh?

So what, it has no meaning whatsoever. I think the level of experience of those players is much more telling.

OK, change the argument if you like. I don't have the stats to hand, but since Lancaster took over England have consistently had fewer caps than any of the teams they've played, usually to the tune of a couple of hundred. Of Sunday's likely squad, only Hartley and I think Lawes were regular starters under Johnson (though Wilson, Wood, Care and Brown had all picked up occasional caps and Robshaw had been capped once).

I am pretty sure it represents the most comprehensive rebuilding job of any of the major nations, and it wll still be a work in progress come next year. The closest comparable case is probably Wales in 2011, but even then I think there was more of an established core.
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 06 Mar 2014, 10:17 pm

I think it bodes well Poorfour.

We've got a young bunch who are around 2 years behind other 6N teams in terms of development yet are still competing (and beating) more experienced teams.

We could have a real top team in a year or two.

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Post by Scratch Thu 06 Mar 2014, 10:21 pm

Maybe poor four but i do think England have short memories, France was a huge blunder which may have helped as it took the pressure right off, but v Wales i just think this age thing is irrelevant.
On the other hand, Wales have taken pride in the youth/expereince mix and consistent selection they have achieved with a side effectively the same age as England's. This has created strength in depth issues which England currently face. England have capitalized by bedding in 2nd tier players and when first picks return they are well set.
So there is no reason to believe that, with consistent selection - which in my opinion is much more pivotal to English success than anything else - England may have worked it out.

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Post by Biltong Thu 06 Mar 2014, 10:30 pm

Sgtpooly and Scratch, please desist in making this thread your personal battle ground.
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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Fri 07 Mar 2014, 8:28 am

Back to the OP.

In many ways the comment
Add 1.54 (start) or 1.64 (final) years for RWC.
is the point of my post.

It is only 1½ years to the RWC and I was just musing over the the numbers.

Clearly and by a distance, Ireland have the oldest team.
Tomorrow they will start five players over 30 (plus one on the bench)

In the backs, England, France and Wales all start with a back division whose oldest member is younger than the Irish average.
In the forwards (based on their last game) England is the same.

So maybe what I'm saying is that Joe Schmidt really should have started his re-build for 2015 and not park it until next season.
Unless he wants to have the 'm' in his name to be silent in the view of the notoriously fickle Irish public, he'll have to cast off the final shackles of the golden generation.

In fact he should have already started. Really what is the point of winning a 6Ns squad today whilst being forced to consign it to the skip tomorrow?

I say this in full and horrid recollection of SCWs post-2013 decisions with his golden generation.

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Post by propdavid_london Fri 07 Mar 2014, 10:09 am

I guess you mean post 2003 - golden generation retirees!

Perhaps Schmidt is just banking on his old guard making the WC. Same as SCW, its a gamble - all eggs in the basket to win or loose the WC.

As an England fan I was incredibly saddened to see the apparent decline in England performances post-2003, however there is always the carrat that they won the WC.

The only issues with Schmidt is his picking of BOD, who has publicly said he wont make the WC - therefore, why not blood another option now!
Unless Schmidt is confident that he will convince BOD to play 1 more year.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 07 Mar 2014, 10:18 am

Portnoy's Complaint wrote:
Scratch wrote:It proves England dropped Brown after finding out his middle name was Noel.
Aye there're a few brassneck names passed down by heartless parents, Scratch. I quite like Makovina Wanangarua I Whanga Nui-Atara Vunipola.

Geoff Cross looks like he plays for the wrong team

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Post by beshocked Fri 07 Mar 2014, 10:20 am

Wales have a relatively old frontrow

Hibbard - 30

Jenkins - 33

Jones - 32 (33 on Saturday)

Rest of the team is quite youthful though.

England should have a lot of talented youngsters - England U20s has been consistently one of the strongest teams at that level since the 6 nations started in 2008.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England_national_under-20_rugby_union_team

It's interesting that the England U20s have generally dominated Wales at U20 level - 7-0 but seem to find it much harder against the senior side.

You could put it down to England's strength in depth whereas the best Welsh players are fast tracked into the Welsh side. English youngsters find it more difficult to break into the England side because of the much bigger player pool and the fiercer competition.

England's greater strength in depth should pay dividends in the end.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 07 Mar 2014, 10:25 am

Think it just depends on where your strength in depth is. nowell and Watson are obviously are the latest to be either there or close to it and you will normally find it's the backs who break through at an earlier time. The Welsh backline as you point out are all quite young. It's not really about the results at U20s level though and more the potential of the players. The actual U20s final was a well contested and close game.

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Post by beshocked Fri 07 Mar 2014, 10:38 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Think it just depends on where your strength in depth is. nowell and Watson are obviously are the latest to be either there or close to it and you will normally find it's the backs who break through at an earlier time. The Welsh backline as you point out are all quite young.  It's not really about the results at U20s level though and more the potential of the players. The actual U20s final was a well contested and close game.

Sometimes youth isn't everything no 7 & 1/2. When Bath took on Sarries, Strettle showed Watson that he still has a long way to go.

Nowell hasn't been great for England.

I would say for England it's been the mid-late 20s guys who have been giving England that much needed rejuvenation - an older and wiser Care,Hartley,Brown and Lawes. Even Burrell - a new cap is 26.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 07 Mar 2014, 10:46 am

Which is fair enough point Watson will improve a great deal and Nowell hasn't done a great deal except shore up the right wing defensively and create a try. I would expect him to get better as well although Wade is surely in Lancaster's mind. Just giving examples of the youth being injected predominantly in the backs.

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Post by Poorfour Fri 07 Mar 2014, 10:48 am

propdavid_london wrote:I guess you mean post 2003 - golden generation retirees!

Perhaps Schmidt is just banking on his old guard making the WC.  Same as SCW, its a gamble - all eggs in the basket to win or loose the WC.  

As an England fan I was incredibly saddened to see the apparent decline in England performances post-2003, however there is always the carrat that they won the WC.  

The only issues with Schmidt is his picking of BOD, who has publicly said he wont make the WC - therefore, why not blood another option now!
Unless Schmidt is confident that he will convince BOD to play 1 more year.

The England decline post-2003 was down to a complicated mix of things. Some of them couldn't have been predicted or managed (Wilko's endless string of injuries, and the two knee injuries that ended Richard Hill's career - how much closer would England have been to winning in 2007 with Hill in the side?); some of them were structural issues (the RFU and clubs were at each others' throats over player release - which ultimately led to Woodward's resignation; today's academy system was barely in its infancy; we didn't have the incentives to develop and play young EQPs); and some of them were selection issues (dropping Back for the 2004 6N having lost so many other senior players - I'd have given him one more championship, as Captain; letting Andy Robinson move up to manager, when it would have been better all round for him to stay as head coach).

England stumbled through 2007, but moves like the new EPS agreement (for which Rob Andrew doesn't get the credit he deserves) addressed most of the problems and by 2010, England had a decent shot at getting back to somewhere near 2003 form. The loss to Ireland in 2011 put paid to that - Martin Johnson should probably have doubled-down - stuck to his guns, raised the intensity and backed his emerging talent. Instead, his selection and tactics became more conservative and we all know the result. Not only was the 2011 RWC performance dire, but it also turned the clock back and left Lancaster with many of the issues that Johnson had been close to solving.

While Lancaster has had setbacks (some of his own making - he's clearly been learning on the job about handling International matchdays; some not - he's had ongoing problems with injuries, especially in the backs, and has had less continuity than is ideal), he has clearly had a structure in mind and has been building towards it consistently - even when confronted with big losses like last year's in Cardiff.

Schmidt's got a different problem. It seems to me that he's the arch tactician - brilliant at making the most of the resources available to him. He could have begun the clearout this season (...and deny BOD a shot at the world record for caps? Fans the world over would never forgive him), but I suspect he is gambling on needing to get some momentum in Ireland's results, some belief in his core team and in being able to bring through his replacement players quickly over the summer. He has some big shoes to fill, but he also has more settled combinations across the pitch than Lancaster had and probably expects to be able to draw on that stability. Establishing a new centre (or lock) pairing quickly is not easy - though Lancaster has shown how it can be done once you have the right players.
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Post by quinsforever Fri 07 Mar 2014, 11:20 am

i think forwards last longer and better, age-wise than do backs.

england's forwards in 2003 were almost eligible for pension after the world cup and yet they were utterly dominant.

backs, if they put on weight (muscle) tend to get i) slower, and ii) injured. examples are endless...

so the average age of a team can be misleading i think if it contains old monster forwards and relatively spy backs.

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Post by Poorfour Fri 07 Mar 2014, 12:01 pm

quinsforever wrote:i think forwards last longer and better, age-wise than do backs.

england's forwards in 2003 were almost eligible for pension after the world cup and yet they were utterly dominant.

backs, if they put on weight (muscle) tend to get i) slower, and ii) injured. examples are endless...

so the average age of a team can be misleading i think if it contains old monster forwards and relatively spy backs.

That's long been held to be the case, but I am not sure how much it is true any more. I think it's still true that positions that rely on absolute speed - essentially the wingers, and some FBs and OCs - decline earlier than others as they start to lose their pace, and it's also the case that forwards can often last into their 30s and props in particular peak later (presumably because of the need to learn all the dark arts). But I am not sure that traditional career trajectories apply any more.

Maybe in the past a 21-year old forward emerging to international prominence heralded the arrival of a true great like Jason Leonard, these days there are plenty more of them. Cole, Corbs, Marler, M Vunipola, Launchbury, Morgan, B. Vunipola have all been established internationals at a very young age, and there are several players who might follow them - Henry Thomas is one. Quins have Wallace, Collier, and maybe Buchanan, Clifford and Sinckler who could break through in the next couple of years. Add to that Wood and Robshaw, who should have been established internationals much earlier in their careers. The oddity now is a Simon Shaw or Nick Easter, who keep on trucking long into their 30s.

Meanwhile, several of the backs in the current set up have hit the heights relatively late - Care, Brown and Burrell are all closer to the traditional late 20s prime.
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Post by SecretFly Fri 07 Mar 2014, 12:29 pm

The thing about age.  Age works against you.  Young, fast confident players will make age suffer if they're good enough.

But first they have to be good enough.

The thing about youth being good enough though.  You don't know how long it will last.  You can predict as much as you like, but nobody knows how long the young, fast and confident players will last.
Younger players get through a few years on youthful bravado and high spirits.  But play International long enough and the hits and pummeling dampens enthusiasm sometimes.  Some bright young things don't have the endurance levels to sustain their chirpiness.  They find that the physicality and less space afforded by top level International rugby can often impede their dreams of what they imagined it would be like.  They find that whilst they might have managed to slip under the radar in earlier seasons, as they move along they become much more targeted for 'attention'.  They're known, what they can do is known - they become focal points for the opposition.

Older players have proven one thing.  Longevity - a dogged ability to endure and survive at International level.  Robustness.  Perhaps not the most breath-taking in fancy skills but much more suited to the physical attention and requirements of International. Sometime the longevity is imposed due to lack of alternatives but often it is that it has simply proved itself as a quality certain players have and others don't.

So youth and age?  Longevity proven by one - much proving to be done by the other.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 07 Mar 2014, 12:39 pm

Fly

I'd certainly have taken POC and BOD to strengthen the England team for about the last 4 or 5 years, although I'm not so sure this year, especially POC (not that he isn't still a fine palyer, buut Lawes and Launchbury have been outstanding as a pair to date).

I would argue that age is just a number, and as long as you are playing well enough, it shouldn't matter if you are 20 or 35. The only thing is that for someone like BOD, who has lost pace but compendated by becoming a more complete player, you modify how you play to make the most of what you have.

Having said that, 18 months before the next RWC, I am quite happy with the position England are in - a relatively young team and wider squad coming together nicely in the main, and starting to get some solid experience in key positions but with no-one (at least in the first choice 23) who is likely to start to fall away because of age until after the RWC.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Fri 07 Mar 2014, 1:56 pm

SL has now announced his team and the English average squad age has risen by 0.35 yrs. New OP.

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Post by GunsGerms Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:01 pm

Portnoy I'd be interested to see the average ages of all world cup winning squads/teams. Do you have those figures? My guess is the number is at about 28.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:01 pm

Any excuse to bring up the average age of the irish squad squad again. It really is becoming a bit of a problem Portnoy.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:02 pm

28 is a good number for us imo. Our players generally don't peak until around 26. So happy with that.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:10 pm

GunsGerms wrote:Portnoy I'd be interested to see the average ages of all world cup winning squads/teams. Do you have those figures? My guess is the number is at about 28.

Not to hand and as it takes time to process the data, if you give me a RWC winning team of your choice that has ESPN data on (preferably), I'll see what I can do.

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Post by GunsGerms Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:15 pm

Portnoy's Complaint wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:Portnoy I'd be interested to see the average ages of all world cup winning squads/teams. Do you have those figures? My guess is the number is at about 28.

Not to hand and as it takes time to process the data, if you give me a RWC winning team of your choice that has ESPN data on (preferably), I'll see what I can do.

Ok well how about the last two teams as that would be most relevant. NZ in 2011 and SA in 2007.

I would say their team average ages are 27 max. and squad 26 max.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:19 pm

That's two and therefore twice the work. But give me a a bit of time...

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Post by GunsGerms Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:19 pm

Portnoy's Complaint wrote:That's two and therefore twice the work. But give me a a bit of time...

Haha cheers! Very Happy 

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Post by killer938 Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:47 pm

Portnoy, I have done NZ for 2011 (just the final)

Average age of starting XV : 27.4
Average age of bench : 28.43

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Post by GunsGerms Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:49 pm

Kinda proves my point. Ireland are constantly referred to as an aging team/squad but their squad age will be pretty similar to the average age of winning WC squads. Plus the oldest player is retiring in two games time.

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Post by killer938 Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:55 pm

Just to add

Average age of squad was 27.38

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Post by jimmyinthewell68 Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:57 pm

ball comes in for charteris so that should lower the age but lets be honest its irrelevant unless the average age is 42

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:57 pm

Code:
 DoB Age (decimal yrs)
15 Israel Dagg 06/06/1988 25.75
14 Cory Steven Jane 08/02/1983 31.07
13 Conrad Gerard Smith 12/10/1981 32.40
12 Ma'a Allan Nonu 21/05/1982 31.79
11 Richard Kahui 09/06/1985 28.74
10 Aaron Wiremu Cruden 08/01/1989 25.16 Ave Backs
9 Piri Awahou Tihou Weepu 07/09/1983 30.50 29.35
1 Kieran James Read 26/01/1985 29.11
2 Richard Hugh McCaw 31/10/1980 33.35
3 Jerome Kaino 06/04/1983 30.92
4 Samuel Lawrence Whitelock 12/10/1988 25.40
5 Bradley Carnegie Thorn 03/03/1975 39.01
6 Owen Thomas Franks 23/12/1987 26.20
7 Keven Filipo Mealamu 20/03/1979 34.97 Ave Forwards
8 Tony Dale Woodcock 27/01/1981 33.11 31.51
 Average Starters' age 30.50
16 Andrew Keith Hore 13/09/1978 35.48
17 Benjamin John Franks 27/03/1984 29.94
18 Alexander James Williams 30/04/1981 32.85
19 Adam Thomson 13/03/1982 31.98 Ave Repl. Forwards
20 Andrew Michael Ellis 21/02/1984 30.04 32.06
21 Stephen Donald 03/12/1983 30.26
22 Sonny William Williams 03/08/1985 28.59 Ave Repl. Backs
 Average Bench age 31.31
Average Squad age 30.76


That's ages now.

Subtract 2.37 for RWC final 2011.

That's your homework.

Data taken from Wiki not ESPN.

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