Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: SaintMaul (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 00:07

Below are the ages for when England players who have won or are likely to win significant caps were first capped, which got me thinking about the England chances of our highly promising young Saints.

FORWARDS
M Vunipola 21
Marler 21
Genge 21
Hartley 22
George 24
Cowan-Dickie 22
Sinckler 23
Williams 25
Cole 22
Itoje 21
Lawes 20
Kruis 24
Launchbury 21
Wilson 27
Robshaw 23
Curry 18
Underhill 21
B Vunipola 20
Morgan 22

13 out of 19 forwards were capped aged 22 or younger (68%).

BACKS
Youngs 20
Care 21
Ford 20
Farrell 20
Watson 20
Tuilagi 20
Te'o 21 (League international debut)
Slade 22
Joseph 21
Nowell 20
May 23
Daly 23
Cokanasiga 21
Ashton 19 (League international debut)
Brown 21

12 out of 15 backs were capped aged 21 or younger (80%)

Out of these 40 players only 4 were not capped by the age of 24 and all four were forwards. So the assumed English wisdom from the amateur era to be sceptical of youth seems to have completely changed to if a player hasn't made it internationally in their early 20s they almost aren't going to have a sustained international career.

How much time do Saints promising youngsters have and which are most likely to make it?

Sleightholme 19 (April)
James Grayson 21 (June)
Alex Mitchell 22 (May)
Harry Mallinder 23 (June)

Painter 21 (March)
Ludlum 23 (December)
Ribbans 23 (August)

Scarily Mallinder and Mitchell are now already old for players going on to have significant international careers.

Who from the Saints crop look most likely to get significant England caps?

Personally, I think Mitchell and Mallinder. Partly due to their talent and partly reflecting their being less competition in their positions. But time is not on their side...

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: St.Sinner (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 04:39

That’s a very interesting post, and surprising to me if I’m honest!
I guess if Boyd was here 2 seasons earlier, the Saints youngsters may of had some caps, but progression was limited for them compared to other youngsters at other clubs.

I think they will be okay, just late to the party compared to the rest.

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: Neil-H (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 05:50

Iam sure some of the stats will relate to how many of the above got their first caps the year following a World Cup when the older guard got replaced?

How many of the current squad will be over 30 and likely to be replaced... or should be imho if there is a good youngster waiting... give them the experience and as much as they can get in next 4 years?

Then I think you also have to take into account that the RFUs youth policy is now fully developed and they are turning out player after player, year after year, so taking into account this and the above, you will have a lot of guys come through at a young age who will/can play 2 some even 3 world cups and buckets of experience

So I think rugby and it’s setup has changed, I think if some of our youngsters don’t get their chance by this time next year (including summer tours) then we might say they may have missed their chance

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: SaintMaul (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 07:21

Quote:
Neil-H
Iam sure some of the stats will relate to how many of the above got their first caps the year following a World Cup when the older guard got replaced?

It's a good question. I can't remember seeing lots getting first caps the 6 Nations after the World Cup but it would make sense. Itoje did with Geoff Parling retiring for example. So it will be interesting who gets into the next 6 Nations squad.

There's also the Argentina tour at the same time as the Lions tour. Wilson and Curry got their first caps for example on the Argentina tour which would have been unlikely otherwise.

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: joethefanatic (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 07:22

As an outsider looking in I think Alex Mitchell has clearly got "it" and in a position in which England are weak (although Ben Spencer looks nailed on for years to come and Harry Randall at Bristol is special). Grayson and Mallinder are very talented rugby players but not obviously internationals to my eye.



... IMHO, of course.

Now in Honolulu

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: herbie85 (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 08:43

Lots will change after this world cup cycle. I think a few are now completely out of the England reckoning and dependent on how England perform, a lot of change could happen

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: ajack (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 08:46

The career of players is much more structured these days, from u18 they will have a very good idea who the next stars will be. Lawes was getting capped for England when he could make the "cup final" starting 15 for Saints and some bloke called Johnson got his first cap because Dooley was banned. It is all about making the most of the opportunities when they come along and improving the areas that need improving.

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: Saint Stokey (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 09:15

The career, albeit relatively short, is increasing bit by bit these days with new scientific approaches to the game. More and more, we're seeing players into their mid thirties, then there's players like George Smith and Sergio Parisse. Whilst these two at the moment are exceptions, I think we'll see players playing longer, especially with the need to rotate squads becoming more necessary.

I think we'll see more players getting their first caps at older ages. We should also remember that some players don't develop until later and provided that the England coach choses players on form rather than on reputation, there is no reason why a 25 year old can get their first cap.

At the moment, given the competition, Mitchell looks like the one player to make the grade first. I think Harry is also in with a shout, but has been hampered by injury. Lewis certainly has the credentials to make the England squad, the difficulty being that the back row is a well stocked position nationally. grayson certainly will be good enough but with players like Farrell and Ford with years to go in their career, unless something dramatic happens, I can see them blocking the path for the next group of 10s. The same applies in the centre. There are a group that will still be in their 20s come the next World Cup, so players like Dingwall and Strachan (should they confirm the England status) may be behind the current incumbents.

I'm also not sure that it's in a players best interest to be selected for the full England squad at such a young age. Firstly, there is the argument that the player may not be physically developed. In which case, is it wise to have them up against some of the biggest men in the world? Could an injury be seriously detrimental to their career? Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, is the mental aspect.

We've seen how being dropped can affect some players. We have no idea how this is going to impact a player, and I would suggest that there is an argument that this may affect a younger player more than one who is older, as they would not have had time do be able to control or deal with the emotions as a more experienced player.

So, if we don't see our players getting full caps until the age of 25, I don't really see it as a bad thing. If it means that we get the best out of our player at a young age, then they hit the England squad in their prime when they are properly ready to deal with the increased levels of performance and adversity, that has to be a benefit to all concerned.

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 09:32

That’s just the legacy of Jim and Dorian not blooding players when they were young but good enough


all change now

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: tedge (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 11:08

In all this it should be remembered that to be selected for your country you have to be EXCEPTIONALLY talented in a very competitive environment, so the proportion of club academy players who make it to the club first team is small and the proportion of those who go on to be internationals is probably even smaller.No doubt somebody can produce the stats to support or deny my theory.

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: Saint Stokey (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 11:15

We should also remember that there is likely to be another Burgess or Teo that comes in and declares their heritage and gets parachuted in.

Plus, its not always the best players that get selected... see Abendanon, Cipriani, Luther, Armand

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: ajack (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 11:21

Clearly not every player that plays premiership rugby is an international but the number will be pretty high. More overseas players and the fact that you get a cap from the bench and most of the bench is used these days and the summer tours mean the number of capped players is greater than it used to be. I would doubt there are many full squad members that have not played at least age level internationals.

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: Whiston Saint (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2019 09:23

Quote:
Saint Stokey
We should also remember that there is likely to be another Burgess or Teo that comes in and declares their heritage and gets parachuted in.
Plus, its not always the best players that get selected... see Abendanon, Cipriani, Luther, Armand

What do you mean by “declares their heritage”? Teo maybe but not Burgess.

I am not sure Abendanon getting an armchair ride in a dominant French club side made him the best English fullback and Luther was never as good as some Saints fans seem to think. Both good club players but not International class IMO. Armand was born in Zimbabwe and could be said to have “declared his heritage”.

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: Stilo (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2019 11:37

Mitchell and Ludlam for me, England are short of 9s, Youngs is past it, never really had it in my eyes, Spencer seems to be the chosen 1 but he is playing behind a dominant pack, it will be interesting to see what he is like under pressure.
Ludlam had nearly a seaon out but last season he grew game by game and to me looks something special,there is a lot of competition for back row places but unfortunately there sems to be a lot of injuries as well.
Not sure about Mallinder, as good as he is with ball in hand his decision making and defence are both questionable, it will be interesting to see how he comes back after a year out.
Grayson is a good player but I dont think (yet) that he has that extra required to be an international.
Its a pity that Hutchinson has nailed his colours on Scotland as he is pure class

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2019 12:28

Furbank better chance as international 10 IMHO



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/07/2019 12:28 by Wilson Pickett.

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: Longers (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2019 15:26

Maturation ( so the Sports scientists in the family tell me) is only now coming to the attention of the masses.

But it is clear that we lagged behind the rest for quite some years particularly in the Academy, The majority of those in the various lists, had been identified by the time they played for England at the Under 20 stage as probably going on to represent the country at the top levels. We had very few who could claim to be in that category. It was not just a case of JM not playing them. The Academy did not demand enough nor did they prepare them adequately.

Hopefully, with a fresh breeze blowing through the club, we will see a significant improvement in the Academy output, which will be reflected in the addition of Saints to the lists.

But those who have been sold short - and we might include Tom Stephenson on that list too - will just have to accept that they are late developers!

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: Stilo (IP Logged)
Date: 15 July, 2019 10:51

Tom showed great promise but his unfortunate injuries and JHs increasing refusal to pick players outside of his chosen few held him back

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: 30yearsofsaints (IP Logged)
Date: 17 July, 2019 05:47

Great thread btw.

I'm actually seeing it a little differently to the majority. I don't see an international player in Mallinder (good prem player like his old man sure).

I think Grayson is much more likely to get caps. I think he does several things that are special and that's the bar for international level. He's much better than Furbank IMO.

Mitchell and Ludlam are clearly there or thereabouts. I think Sleightholme has a real shout. Not made my mind up on Coles yet.

Re: Time is running out for Saints' youngsters
Posted by: Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
Date: 18 July, 2019 13:50

Quote:
30yearsofsaints
Great thread btw.
I'm actually seeing it a little differently to the majority. I don't see an international player in Mallinder (good prem player like his old man sure).

I think Grayson is much more likely to get caps. I think he does several things that are special and that's the bar for international level. He's much better than Furbank IMO.

Mitchell and Ludlam are clearly there or thereabouts. I think Sleightholme has a real shout. Not made my mind up on Coles yet.


check out all the exciting upcoming world 10s...... Barrett, Mo’Uga, Pollard, Ioane..... they can all run the ball like an outside centre. James can’t. George can.


we shall see

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