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Dunbar

Size of the modern Rugby League player

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I was watching the Australia vs. Great Britain 1st test from the 1988 Great Britain tour on YouTube over the weekend and the pack weights flashed up on the screen.  The Great Britain pack were listed at 550kg and an average of 91.6 and Australia 566kg and an average of 94.3.

The Great Britain average of 91.6kg was 14st 6lbs in old money.

The pack for Great Britain that day was:

8. Andy Platt

9. Kevin Beardmore

10. Kevin Ward

11. Paul Dixon

12. Mike Gregory

13. Ellery Hanley

I thought I would take a look at the comparison to Great Britain game against New Zealand on the 2019 tour.  The Great Britain pack that day was 634kg in total and an average of 105.7 which is 16st 9lbs.  Players like Chris Hill (114kg) and Thomas Burgess (120kg) are massive compared o the props of 30 years ago (and this is official weight, I heard Thomas Burgess say in an interview this year he is 125kg).  It is not just weight... Hill and Burgess are 6' 3" and 6' 5" respectively while Andy Platt and Kevin Ward are 5' 10" and 5' 11".

It's interesting that John Bateman is considered lightweight for a League forward but at 96 kg he is still bigger than the average pack weight in 1988.

The biggest international pack I came across last year was the Tongan pack at an average of 110.7kg or 17st 5lbs.

(p.s. just an interesting comparison... none of this is a statement on quality as Andy Platt and Kevin Ward are two of the best British props I have ever seen play the game and Hanley the finest player full stop).

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Sadly I think the 2019 pack would beat the 1988 pack on physical attributes alone despite not being better players.  

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