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Australia 2023 are France 2019?

Apparently comparisons are being drawn between the France crew of 2019 and Australia of 2023 when it comes to youth. Little doubt with the inference of “and look the place France at the moment are, severe contenders to win their house World Cup.”

I need to thank AllyOz for doing lots of the heavy lifting with gathering the info and drawing the graphs. I largely wrote the evaluation of what he did.

Evaluating the Squads

Not dwelling in Australia, I haven’t heard this straight, however the hearsay manufacturing unit reaches even the distant north ultimately. Let’s do some comparisons, beginning with ages.


In 2019, the typical age of the French squad was 27±4 (see Determine 1), in 2023 the Australian squad is 26±3 (see Determine 2). For these of you that don’t learn statistics, it is a fast suggestion that there’s no actual distinction between these averages, though it’s essential learn that with some cautions – it’s not very usually distributed knowledge. The median is likely to be a greater consultant of the typical worth, so the median age of the 2019 French squad was 26, that of the 2023 Australian squad is 26. No completely different.

One factor stands out for those who poke {that a} bit extra intently, the French had 12 gamers aged 30+, the Australians have solely 5. This implies the Australian crew appear to be missing senior gamers, even when in comparison with the youthful crew the French took to the 2019 World Cup. This “tremendous younger” Australian squad have 9 gamers aged 23 or youthful, so did the 2019 French squad. The actual distinction is in that group 27-30, the place the Wallabies have a bit cluster of gamers with round 30-50 caps, the French squad in 2019 had fewer.


Talking of caps, in 2019 the French had a median of 15 caps (see Determine 3) and in 2023, the Australians have a median of 12 (see determine 4). (The averages for each are appreciably larger, 24 and 20 respectively, the info are fairly skewed). The Wallabies have an outlier (that’s Slipper) however on common they’re nonetheless a bit bit decrease in caps than that younger French squad. Should you take a look at the profile of the caps within the squads, and low cost that odd blip within the Wallabies for Slipper, what is going to most likely catch your eye is how related they’re. That may not shock you after what you’ve learn above. The Wallabies have a couple of extra gamers on 0-10, a couple of much less on 10-20 and it carries on like that.


2019 French Squad - Age of Players
Determine 1: Age distribution of gamers within the 2019 French squad.
2023 Wallabies Squad Age Distribution
Determine 2: Age Distribution of the 2023 Wallabies Squad
2019 French Squad Cap Distribution
Determine 3: Distribution of Caps within the 2019 French Squad.
2023 Wallabies squad - caps distribution
Determine 4: Distribution of caps within the 2023 Wallabies squad

Some Surprises

Age Profile of the French in 2023

One shocking factor jumps out for those who take a look at the figures for the 2023 French squad. Keep in mind the median age of the “younger Australian squad, untainted by the expertise of dropping” had been a median age of 26 and 12 caps. For France in 2023, that’s a median age of 26.5 and 22 caps (see Figures 5 and 6). The largest distinction right here is the profile of their caps – from 0-30 it’s mainly flat, 9, 10 and seven gamers in these classes. (Strictly the classes are 3-13, 13-23 and 23-33.) In addition they have 5 gamers within the 40’s caps vary. Fickou is their most skilled participant with 81 (on the time the info had been collected). If we apply that 30+ rule for retiring earlier than the following World Cup, that’s solely eight of the present squad. One, Atonio, 33, has introduced he’s retiring already. Baille, who’s 29, however has been getting injured fairly a bit won’t make it both. Fickou can be 29, 33 is sort of outdated for a middle, so he is likely to be passed by 2027. So, moderately as much as 10 gamers would possibly retire.

2023 French squad - age distribution
Determine 5: Age distribution of gamers within the 2023 French Squad
2023 French squad - caps distribution
Determine 6: Caps distribution of the 2023 French Squad. Word the considerably uncommon groupings, 3-13, 13-23 and so forth slightly than 0-10, 10-20 and so forth.

Assuming a lot of the relaxation make it by means of, that’s lots of this crew that is likely to be coming to Australia in 4 years time with one other 20+ caps beneath their belts. Galthié seems to be constructing a dynasty.

French Churn

If we return to that 2019 French crew, the 12 gamers aged 30+ would possibly moderately be anticipated to have retired. However, of the 35 gamers truly within the squad in 2019, solely eight made it by means of to the 2023 squad: Aldritt, Baille, Dupont, Fickou, Mauvaka, Ntamack (he would have been there aside from that harm), Ollivon, Penaud and Ramos. I hope you’ll forgive me for not chasing down all of the remaining 15 gamers, however working my eye down the record, most if not all of them are nonetheless enjoying rugby, simply not within the French squad, not even within the fringes of the squad. Regardless of this, Galthié didn’t have an evening of the lengthy knives just like Eddie’s World Cup squad announcement. Though he had 4 years to make the modifications, his present squad has been largely secure for many of that interval. There have been modifications in response to kind, sure, some depth constructing and the like too, however no horror moments with appreciably massive teams of followers left pondering WTAF?

Wallaby Survivors

I’ve no confidence that Eddie is pretty much as good a coach as Galthié, nor that RA will help him in the identical methods because the FFR supported their coach and crew, however which eight gamers from present Wallabies squad stood out at being doubtlessly mentioned as greatest on this planet come 2027? You won’t decide all of Aldritt, Baille, Dupont, Fickou, Mauvaka, Ntamack, Ollivon, Penaud and Ramos to your world 23 (Mauvaka and Ntamack undoubtedly don’t make mine for instance) however I wouldn’t struggle too exhausting for those who put any of those names ahead in a dialogue for inclusion. Maybe extra brutally, however extra curiously, which members of the squad are doomed for the bin? On the grounds that they’re 30+ Arnold, Koriobete, Poreki, Skelton, Slipper and White could also be excluded out of your homicide lists on the grounds they’ll retire.

Closing Ideas

I began this with the intention of trying on the 2019 French squad and the 2023 Wallabies squad. There are some free parallels when it comes to ages and caps however for those who poke the info a bit more durable it’s not clear that they stand as much as shut scrutiny. Additional, for those who look intently at what has occurred to the French squad over the intervening 4 years it’s not clear that a lot of what they did then has influenced them straight now.

You would possibly argue that Eddie has received his squad modifications in first, Galthié waited till after the 2019 World Cup. Nevertheless, trying again to my evaluations of the 2020 Six Nations, Galthié and Edwards had an prompt influence. France got here second (on factors distinction) to England, scuppered by the dropping bonus level they conceded to England (or by their considerably surprising misplaced to Scotland). Having exited within the quarterfinals in Japan, they beat the dropping semifinalists (with a brand new coach) and dropping finalists (with largely the identical crew) lower than six months later. Should you take a look at that France v England match, you’d recognise lots of the names from the 2023 World Cup squads. He had the moment influence that Eddie introduced he’d have. Would you slightly phrases or deeds?



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