It’s well known that rugby players today are much bigger and heavier than their forebears, but just how big are some the today’s players and how heavy are the top teams. Here’s a look at the combined weights of the players in the twenty sides competing at the 2015 Rugby World Cup (based on the original 31-man squads).
As you’ll see the average weight per player is just shy of 100 kg, but there is still room for the little guy with a couple of half backs weighing in at 70 kg or under. Tonga is the heaviest side collectively at 3338 kg with Uruguay, a massive 17 kg per man lighter. Take a look and see what behemoths modern rugby sides are becoming.
The Semi Finalists: ARGENTINA – with a combined weight of 3144 kg (about 100 times the average weight of the cat from which they take their nickname Pumas), Argentina is about average in total weight. The side’s heaviest player, young lock Tomas Lavanini is a real big cat at 130 kg while at the other end of the scale wing Santiago Cordero is a veritable kitten at just 78 kg.
AUSTRALIA – the Wallabies boast 3262 kg of prime Australian muscle and the biggest of them is lock Will Skelton, a 140 kg man-mountain. Scrum half Will Genia is just 82 kg.
NEW ZEALAND – the All Blacks weigh in at a total of 3272 kg; that’s equivalent to about 1350 common kiwi males (and a lot of sides would probably prefer to take on the birds rather than the rugby players). 130 kg prop Charlie Faumuina is the heaviest while 83 kg half back Aaron Smith is the lightest.
SOUTH AFRICA – despite their reputation as a big side, the Springboks squad only weighs in at 3265 kg. The heaviest player is prop Coenie Oosthuizen who weighs 127 kg (about the same as three average male springbok antelopes). New scrum half Rudy Paige is the lightest at 77 kg.
Unsuccessful Quarter Finalists:
WALES – the pride of Wales weigh in at a combined 3297 kg (that’s over 18,000 average sized leeks – about 0ne for every senior male player in the coutry) with heavyweight prop Tomas Francis making a 139 kg contribution. Fullback is the team’s lightweight at Matthew Morgan 73kg.
FRANCE – Les Bleus weigh in at 3226 kg; that’s about 1200 of those Gallic roosters that follow the team around. Massive prop Uini Atonio is the heaviest player in the side – and the tournament – at 155 kg. Contrast that with half back Parra Morgan who is the lightest French player at 77 kg.
IRELAND – The Irish weigh in at 3231 kg – some might say that they’ll need luck from that weight in four-leafed clovers to win – but heaviest player, 127 kg prop Mike Ross, and the lightest, 83 kg scrum half Eoin Reddan, will have something to say about that.
SCOTLAND – the Scottish side weighs 3142 kg, that’s just over 33,000 of those nice one pound coins with the thistle on the obverse side. The heaviest player is lock Richie Gray at 126 kg while the lightest are Greig Laidlaw and Henry Pyrgos, both scrum half’s, who weigh just 80 kg a piece.
Best of The Rest:
TONGA – overall the heaviest squad in the competition with a combined weight of 3338 kg, Tonga boasts some big and mobile players ranging in size from the heaviest, Opeti Fonua at 148 kg, to the lightest, David Halafonua and Telusa Veainu at 85 kg. There must be something in the diet that makes Pacific Islanders so big.
URUGUAY – at 2811 kg in total, the South Americans comprise the lightest side at the RWC. The heaviest player is prop Mario Sagario at a relatively (compared with other big forwards) small 120 kg while fullback Gaston Mieres is the lightest at 70 kg. Even so, the team’s weight amounts to a heck of a lot of soy beans, one of Uruguay’s main exports.
USA – some Americans like to boast that they have the biggest of everything, but the Eagles only weigh in at a total of 3252 kg, nearly 3 kg a man lighter than the Tongans. 131 kg prop Joe Taufete’e is the heaviest and 80 kg scrum half Niku Kruger is the lightest.
ROMANIA –The Oaks is one of the lighter sides in the competition at just 3059 kg (quite a few acorns in that). Prop Ion Paulica is the heaviest at 119 kg while half backs Tudorel Bratu and Florin Surugiu are the lightest at 71 kg each.
SAMOA – another Pacific side with a reputation for fielding huge fast men, Samoa’s total weight is a surprisingly light 3262 kg. And at 137 kg, prop Census Johnson is twice the weight of scrum half Vavao Afemai who, at 65 kg, is the lightest player in the tournament.
ITALY – Azzurri weigh a total of 3172 kg or about 55,000 medium servings of spaghetti (before cooking). The heaviest, at 125 kg, is prop Lorenzo Cittadini while half backs Guglielmo Palazzani and Marcello Violi share honours for being the lightest at 80 kg.
JAPAN – one of the lightest teams n the tournament, the ‘Brave Blossoms” weigh in at 3098 kg, probably nowhere as much blossom as they’d need to shower the team if it wins. Prop Hiroshi Yamashita (120 kg) is the heaviest while scrum halves Atsushi Hisawa and Fumiaki Tanaka (72 kg each) are the lightest.
NAMIBIA – nicknamed the Weiwitschias, after the endangered native plant of that name, the Namibians weigh a mere 3096 kg. At 137 kg the heaviest is prop AJ de Klerk (137 kg) while the lightest is scrum half Damian Stevens (68 kg). Namibia are likely to be scarcer than the real weiwitschia in the final stages of the RWC.
GEORGIA – the Lelos weigh in at a total of 3163 kg. Veteran prop Davit Kubriashvili is the heaviest at 123 kg and scrum half Vazha Khutsisvili is the lightest at 73 kg. Given the weight of the side, perhaps a few more Khinkali (meat dumplings) wouldn’t go amiss.
CANADA – at 3084 kg (equivalent to just over 18,000 ice hockey pucks), Canada is a relatively light side. And you’d have considerable trouble pushing 125 kg prop Jake Ilnicki around the ice and 77 kg scrum half Phil Mack wouldn’t be much easier, despite being the lightest man in the team.
ENGLAND – The England side weighs in at 3262 kg, the same as Australia. Loose head prop Mako Vunipola is the heaviest man in the side at 130 kg, while lightweight honours are shared between Richard Wigglesworth and George Ford who both weigh in at 84 kg.
FIJI – this team’s combined weight of 3271 kg bears testimony to the efficacy of the Pacific diet, plenty of fresh meat and vegetables with healthy helpings of cassava and taro. Heavyweight prop Lee Roy Atalifo (130 kg) almost certainly had his share while scrum half Henry Seniloli (75 kg) perhaps had less of an appetite.