Aging of Players and the effect on performances.

Forum » Rugby » Aging of Players and the effect on performances.

Oct 20, 2020, 15:53

In 2015 the Springbok squad contained at least 8  unplayable players over the age of thirty,    That reduced the number of playable players to 23 and those players had to play every test in the series - even against the weakest teams they met.   This was complicated by the Japan disaster in the first game in the series and the Springboks had to ensure of them being in the play-offs.   It is part of history that by the end of  that series the players were tired and dispirited since they had no rest matches during the series,

In the 2019 squad there were only 8 over 30 years-old players - but all were martchfit and most got rested during matches against weaker teams.   That is why in the final the players looked fresh and relaxed against the English.   Even the 38 year-old Brits - who were in the squad to actually help to keep the spirit of the players on a high did well in the two matches he played in.

However, that is not the point I would like to make - the point is what about further usage of the older players  in the squad and here it is necessary to look at individual players - especially those over 29 and their potential continuation to the 2023 WC,

So where are we now with the 2019 over 29 players?   Lets accept that most if not all these players will not make it to the 2023 WC performing on a level that would be acceptable.   So who is likely to go out of contention in future:-

*    Willie le Roux was 29 in 2019 and although he tried very hard to deliver the goods he did not really come out on top.   Cannot see him going to the next WC.

*    Mapimpi - also a 29 year old in 2019,   He was very good in the 20198 WC series.   There may be some doubt about whether he would make it to 2023 - However, Nkosi is a very good potential replacement,

*    Francois Steyn would not make the 2023 WC and has announced his retirement from test rugby already.   He is still playing for the Cheetahs - but is out of contention for further selection.

*   Jantjies another 29 year old in 2019 - he never really made it on test level and he did not play at all in any of the key matches in the 2019 WC,     

*   Faf de Klerk - 29 in 2015 - but there is a good chance he will make it through to 2023.  

*   Duane Vermeulen was exceptional in the WC Final - but I belief he will retire from test rugby after the Lions tour next year,

*   Francois Louw - already retired from all forms of rugby,

*   Tendai Mtawarira - already retired from all forms of rugby

*   Trevor Nyakana - another of the players unlikely to make it to 2023.

*   Schalk Brits already retired from all forms of rugby.       

*    Franco Mostert - another 29 year-old in the 2019 WC was questionable in the WC and he contributed to the loss of the AB test,   No chance of him proceeding to the WC. 

*   Francois Louw - already retired from all Rugby.   So out of the 31 players.

The question always would be who would replace the above 12 players ion 2013.   Another three years to wait for that answer - but I think that apart from the critical flyhalf position - there are enough alternatives coming through.  

Mind you - unlike some members who apparently believe that age has no impact on player performances  I doubt not that if has and not only in rugby, but also in cricket and tennis as examples.   In the case of tennis there are a number of youngsters coming through and the fact is that they are rather quickly moving in on Federer, Nadal and Djokovic,   The one guy standing out in that group of players is Andrey Rublev from Russia.   He is only 22 and ranked no 8 in the world already,            



Oct 20, 2020, 19:50

Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic closed. 

Oct 20, 2020, 20:17

Tom Brady, Drew Brews, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers...

"unlike some members who apparently believe that age has no impact on player performances"

Why don't you quote it? But here's an interesting thing.

WC 2015

  1. Worst Boks: Lood, Lambie, Kriel, Damian. 
  2. Key Boks: Schalk, Habana, JP, Thor, Du Preez, Louw

WC 2019

  1. Worst Boks: Damian, Steph, Kolisi, Reinach,
  2. Key Boks: Thor, Louw, Beast, Pollard, Willie
Your theory on age hasn't stood the test of time. You make assumptions based on a number, not performance. You always back the losing horse Lügnerin. 

Oct 20, 2020, 20:43


Roger was wiped out by Ruplev in the last series they played in and he did not play in  the US OPEN,   Nadal and Djokovic did not make it to the final in the US Open and they may not win many more matches like they did in the past,   The best one to last may be Nadal on clay - the best clay court player ever,    .  

Oct 20, 2020, 20:44

Big difference between hitting a ball and putting your old body on the line smashing into people for 90 min every weekend

The only old player that has held his head high has been Schalk Brits for the rest sticking with old farts or recalling old farts has been a huge blunder

Matfield is a classic example. One of the best locks ever to play the game returned aged 36 or something and was a complete liability

Oct 20, 2020, 21:11


Your childishness comes out again in the posting, - you really is a total rugby illiterate polluting this site with childish responses,   Ask your mama to change your nappy before you write Shit on site again.      

WC 2015

Lets look at the wort players against Japan in 2015 - that is leaving out the 8 unplayable players that could not play at all or payed less than a full match .   In the Japan disaster - the worst players by a mile was Burger, Bismarck, Pienaar and Matfield.    That set the norm for the rest of the games..   

WC 2O19

Best players were Du Toit, Vermeulen, Pollard and De Allende.

One has to look who started in key games games and who were on the bench or not playing in key games and those cannot be considered as key players,   

The worst players in key games were Willie and Mostert = none of the others made the flops these two made.

However, two coaches hold the record of being the worst in the history of SA Rugby and those two were Meyer and Coetzee,    Meyer buggered up team selection totally and was not a successful coach at all.   That is why the Springboks really failed in 2015 and why SARU decided not to renew his contract.   His subsequent  firing by Stade Francais because of gross incompetence confirm that statement,.

However, as per normal you missed the point I tried to make.  There are about 13 layers from the squad - most were mainly back-up players anyway and could never be considered as key players.   So the brilliant Erasmus and co will probably have to look at 10 or so replacements, in the squad.   That was the real point I wanted to make in the hope that some of the  knowledgeable people on site - not rugby idiots like you - can start thinking of wh could be considered,   

The two that I beleive4 has no hope in getting back to the Springbok World Champions team are Esterhuysen and Mostert.   Both are seriously defective players as well.                    


Oct 20, 2020, 22:09

Without the Beast and Thor there was no much for old players.

Oct 20, 2020, 22:27

Beast and Vermeulen were not past it

Both close but did good jobs

Absolute rubbish - Kitshoff is as good as Beast as are Marcel Coetzee, Dan du Preez and Jaco Coetzee as good as Thor

We would still have won the WC with Kitshoff at 1 and say Dan du Preez at 8

The only non negotiable was Pollard at 10

Oct 20, 2020, 22:37

Kitshoff has never dominated a top prop the way the Beast dominated King Cole....that was the corner stone for our win. 

As for Marcel Coetzee he hasn’t even had one good test match.....Dan du Preez is thick and has terrible hands...  Jaco Coetzee is at the start of his career, nowhere near ready to dominate a WC stage.

Pollard was a non negotiable as well, the Duds weren’t, thankfully you apparently get that at least Dave.

Oct 20, 2020, 23:10

Rubbish Kitshoff has often dominated and continues to

Marcel Coetzee has had some great tests and is now in his prime

Your take on Dan is absolute rubbish. You don’t make TOW up here more than any other 8 in the country being stupid or having poor hands

Move on Moz, a few spilt balls aged 20 does not define the du Preez twins hands

We would definitely have won the WC without Beast and Vermeulen. We have so much depth that a 3rd choice would have stood us proud except at 10 where we don’t have another Pollard.

Same applies to de Allende and PSDT - we would have done just as well with JL du Preez, Jacques du Plessis or Ackerman at 7 or Serfontein, Esterhuizen or JVR at 12

Oct 21, 2020, 08:11


We still have a problem with Mozart.  He missed 99% of the WC matches and only saw what he wanted to see so that he could find reason to attack Du Toit and De Allende.    In the final Vermeulen thoroughly deserved the MOM  award.   As a prop Beast was good - but not as good outside  of scrumming as Malherbe, whose defense was outstanding and his role in defense was much better than Beasts/   

I do not know what Mozart see in matches when his prejudice takes over.- fact is the myth that Beast won the WC was also started by Mozart.   He apparently missed three penalties awarded to the Springboks in scrumming when Beast was already replaced.   That is his normal and he refuses to see anything else.

I wonder why he did not want to see the role De Allende played in the final and already lied three times about what really happened and gave false descriptions in all three cases.   Must say I am amazed about how he imagined things and then comes up with attacks on the players he hates - he loses all rugby perspectives when that happens.      .  .          

Oct 21, 2020, 12:24

Malherbe is the unsung hero in that Bok side

He has been dominant in the scrums for some time now - he is an absolute rock

His general play is good as well, despite being out of shape at times

Beast was on par in terms of general player

Oct 21, 2020, 20:56


I was thinking specifically of two Malherbe tackles on Vunipola when  the English was attacking  for five minutes in the  first half  of the final.  The attacks were less than 6 meters out and kept Vunipola from making any progress.        

Oct 21, 2020, 22:35

Ageing of players is not really that relevant.
As soon as there is a better player, they should replace the incumbent player. (regardless of age). 

If someone is past their best, sometimes they are still better than other alternatives. Just using a temporary placeholder until a quality replacement is discovered just because they are younger, is not a great option. 

Meyers 2015 team could have done better with a game plan that was not so one dimensional. 

Jean Devilliers was totally past it, but other players were still international standard like Schalk Burger. The game plan was to crashball, and do no offloads in the tackle. 

Oct 22, 2020, 01:00

Want to know what I see Wanker....check the impressions are generally reflected in the stats. I hope that helps and you have a great session with your device tonight. Cheers!

Oct 22, 2020, 05:42

I checked your usage of stats and found that you used stats is a way nobody else would  dream of using it for the purpose you tried to use it.   So your use of it is accepted as being abusive.   The only purpose those stats can be used is in assessment of coaching and that relates to all aspect of coaching - also team selection.     That is why Meyer's tenure was ended by SARU, Coetzee fired and both fired because of gross incompetence by their  clubs subsequently;

You are known for using stats selectively and leaving out critical elements of overall performance -eg you carry on about ball carries and omit defensive stats, etc.   Normally you do not include  scoring of tries - but  concentrate on goalkicking, ets,  When you use stats selectively you abuse it and try to use stats only to discredit some players and for no other purpose at all. 

The other issue you forget about stats are the use of stats to determine performances are not iro of  one game only - in using stats in performance evaluation it has more to do with trends displayed by player in a number of matches - not only in one match.  

So in summary - your usage of stats proves nothing bar prejudice against some players and statistical experts in rugby will laugh at you and call it unacceptable or as I call it statistial abuse.         

Oct 22, 2020, 20:44

Ageing of forum addicts leads to a two fold effect...frustrated spouses because their partners cannot up their conjugal duties and hence they take it out on young rugby and some a little bit older first division players.. From  especially a decrepit bunch clique here who cannot up their game in the bed room. No wonder they come here...their wives have gone to sleep...macho deception...a huge problem in the first and 3rd that not so , if honesty is such a lonely word as Joel once sang, everyone is so untrue...that's the real problem in the world especially rugby forums...where egoism is more contagious than Covid 19

Oct 23, 2020, 06:48

There has always been a problem on site and it started with Meyer and his selections.  Mayer ignored totally one fact - namely that the only realistic norm for selection is sustained performance.     His norm had nothing to do with actual performance and to put it in his own words when he said -  "I know what he is capable of" hen dealing with selection of players for the 2015 WC with disastrous consequences for the series.    He had at least 8 unplayable players in the WC squad and after the Japan debacle he had to play them in every game.

The fact is that the nest performance age of players on test level is normally between  25 and 30 years, but that does not mean that players over 30 should not be selected for test rugby,  It  indeed depends entirely on performance,    The longer rugby "performance life"  never last longer than age 34 and of the 8 older players in the 2019 WC squad.   If the 8 over 30  players in the 2019 5 have already retired from test rugby and 1 (Vermeulen) has already indicated that he will not continue with test rugby after the Lions tour in 2021.   

The other players listed by me above are basically 29 year old in the 2019 squad,   Most of them are fringe players that at best came off the bench and have not really established themselves as first choice test players,   

I never said or implied that over 30 year-olds  should never be selected - I merely said that all players  irrespective of age  should be considered because they are the best performers when selections are made.   

Unlike in 2015 I had no problem with the 2019 squad WC squad and the results speak for themselves.     Of the players listed by me only Willie and Faf  were really in the starting team in key matches,   Willie I doubt not will be phased out by 2023               



Oct 31, 2020, 19:14


Youi referred to Nadal, Federer and Djokovic in comments - and said case closed.   The caser is unfortunately not closed.    I never said they were not tennis greats - but what I implied was that they are coming to the end of their  illustrious careers.  

I have not seen any matches of  Federer recently - but he is just picking and  choosing in which tournaments he wishes to play - but whatever may be wrong (there are rumors that he is injured), but he is not the certainty to reach the finals and he is normally beaten by younger players,  

Nadal is still the master of all om grass courts and he may be successful on clay courts - bit he is nowadays more often beaten at tournaments on other surfaces he  us much more vulnerable than he used to be.   

Now for Djokovic on the Vienna tournament.  He was shockingly poor losing 6-2 and 6-1 om the quarterfinals - the winner was Sonego  from Italy,   The latter was a lucky  qualifier.             

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