With conditioning and medical care improving year on year we are finding more and more players continuing to play well into their 30’s (some even quite well). With that in mind here we will take a look at a team made up of players who are aged 35 or over.
If we had pulled this list together several years ago we probably would have had a team made up of players hanging onto their professional careers well past their sell-by date. The case with this team however is quite the opposite, in fact it includes 5 World Cup winners, 5 British & Irish Lions, 1254 test points and 1053 test caps. With a combined age of 530 this team averages over 70 caps and almost 84 points per player. Anyway, here is our Pensioners Rugby XV;
1. Duncan Jones, 35
The Welsh and Ospreys loosehead has 57 caps to his name and is still going strong.
2. Keven Mealamu, 35
With 105 caps and a World Cup winners medal Mealamu more than deserves his place on this list.
3. Deacon Manu, 35
Manu may only have 13 Fijian caps to his name but has played at the highest level for Scarlets and Chiefs.
4. Victor Matfield, 36
The Springbok has returned to the game this season and brings his 110 caps and World Cup winners medal to the team.
5. Nathan Hines, 37
The oldest member of our squad Hines brings 77 Scotland caps to the team.
6. Jamie Cudmore, 35
The Canadian international is still going strong in the Top 14 for Clermont.
7. Danie Rossouw, 35
Another Springbok World Cup winner Rossouw brings 62 caps and 50 test points to the side.
8. Nick Easter, 35
Despite being quite late to the professional game former England number 8 Easter adds 47 caps.
9. Peter Stringer, 36
With 98 caps to his name Stringer brings a wealth of experience to the side as he continues his good form at Bath.
10. Dan Parks, 35
Parks may not be everyone’s favourite player but 66 caps and 260 test points make him a worthy member of this team.
11. Shane Williams, 37
He may not be playing at the top level anymore but 290 test points from 87 caps ensure Williams is in.
12. Mike Tindall, 35
Another World Cup winner, Tindall’s 75 test caps again provides plenty of experience.
13. Brian O’Driscoll, 35
The World’s most capped international player, BOD couldn’t be better suited to this side.
14. Mark Cueto, 34
Ok so Cueto isn’t quite 35 yet but it has been confirmed that he will be playing on next year.
15. Iain Balshaw, 35
Balshaw may only have 35 caps to his name but a World Cup winners medal more than compensates.