The Springboks have by far the oldest squad in average age at the World Cup in France, while Eddie Jones’ Wallabies are comfortably the most youthful.
The defending champions have retained the vast majority of the squad that lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in Japan in 2019.
Even without the recovering Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am and Lood de Jager, the Springboks still have 22 players who were part of the 31-man squad four years ago.
A total of 19 of the 33-strong squad currently based in Toulon are at least 30 years old. There are two players who are over 35 in loose forwards Duane Vermeulen and Deon Fourie.
This sees the Springboks field a squad with an average age of 30.4, almost a whole year older than second-ranked Samoa.
— Tier 2 Rugby (@T2Rugby) September 4, 2023
Title rivals New Zealand have struck a good balance, as while the All Blacks have centurions in Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick, their average age is 28.3.
At the other end of the scale, Australia have the youngest squad at the World Cup (26.5 years), as head coach Jones left out the likes of flyhalf Quade Cooper and former captain Michael Hooper in favour of Test rookies Carter Gordon and Tom Hooper.
Photo: EPA/KIM LUDBROOK