Should Ireland Be Worried By This Latest Six Nations Statistic?

The 2019 Rugby World Cup is just over two years away, and perhaps this statistic is a little concerning.

Ireland boss Joe Schmidt has been criticised over the years for not blooding in younger players at the right times. While it’s safe to say he’s handed a lot of players their first caps since taking charge, (upwards of 30) he seems to stick to his old guns when it comes to the games that really matter.

Question marks still remain over the likes of Rob Kearney and to a lesser extent Jamie Heaslip, while his decision to include an ageing Tommy Bowe last weekend had a lot of people scratching their heads.

Ireland take on Italy today, and while it will be far from an easy fixture in Rome, it’s perhaps an excellent opportunity to give some young guns a shot at elite Test level rugby. Schmidt however, despite last week’s failures, has fielded a side with highest average age of any team in this round of fixtures.

A missed opportunity? Should Irish fans be concerned?

Update: Now that 34 year-old captain Rory Best has been ruled out and replaced by 24 year-old Niall Scannell, Ireland’s average age has now dropped. Interestingly, despite bringing in a player ten years younger, Ireland still has an average age of 28, making them still the highest of all the teams.

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