Our own Rick Edgerton is in to wrap Game II of #Origin and looks ahead to the decider in a fortnight...
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Coming into round eight of the NRL will see St George Illawarra, one of the youngest aged teams in the NRL taking on one of the oldest in the Northern Eagles.
Research into the average ages of teams competing in this year's NRL competition has revealed that Trent Barrett is the youngest of the captains to lead his side out this weekend. Barrett turned 24 last November.
The average age of the Dragons is a low 23.12 years but the youngest aged team in the competition are the North Queensland Cowboys who came in with an average of only 22.71 years.
The Canterbury Bulldogs are the competition's oldest aged team with an average of 25.53 years. Not far behind are the Penrith Panthers with an average of 25.06 years, marginally older than the Northern Eagles who came in at 25.0 years.
Not surprisingly, the NRL's oldest player is Allan Langer who turns 36 in July. Such is the endurance of Langer that he is now a generation older than one of the NRLs youngest player, Cronulla's Greg Bird, aged just 17 years. Bird won't turn 18 until October.
Members of the thirty-something club include Jason Death (South Sydney, 30),? Matthew Johns (Cronulla, 30), Darren Smith (Canterbury, 33), Steve Reardon (Canterbury, 30), Darren Senter (Wests Tigers, 30), Brett Mullins (Roosters, 30), Brad Fittler (Roosters, 30),? Andrew Gee (Brisbane, 32), Allan Langer (Brisbane, 35), Billy Peden (Newcastle, 32), Ivan Cleary (Warriors, 31), Kevin Campion (Warriors, 30), Robbie Kearns (Melbourne, 30), Colin Ward (Penrith, 31), John Cross (Penrith, 30) and Scott Sattler (Penrith, 30).
Players of the future include teenagers, Greg Bird (Cronulla, 17), Michael Russo (Storm, 18), Ashley Alberts (Cowboys, 18), Matt Bowen (Cowboys, 19), Jaiman Lowe (Cowboys, 19), Luke Lewis (Penrith, 18), Luke Rooney (Penrith, 19), Joel Clinton (Penrith, 19), Michael Robinson (Raiders, 19), Anthony Quinn (Newcastle, 19) and Lance Hohaia (Warriors, 19).
At 20 years of age, St George centre, Mark Gasnier is one of the NRLs youngest internationals.
Summary of teams, youngest to oldest
Team average 22.71 years. Captain Glenn Morrison, 26
Team average 23.12 years. Captain Trent Barrett, 24
Team average 23.41 years. Captain Chris Beattie, 26
Team average 23.65 years. Captain Daniel Wagon, 26
Team average 23.65 years. Captain Andrew Johns, 28
Team average 24.00 years. Captain Andrew Hart, 26
Team average 24.24 years. Captain Stacy Jones, 26
Team average 24.35 years. Captain Gorden Tallis 28
Team average 24.41 years. Captain Simon Woolford, 27
Team average 24.82 years. Captain Robbie Kearns, 30
Team average 24.88 years. Captain Darren Senter, 30
Team average 24.92 years. Captain Brad Fittler, 30
Team average 25.00 years. Captain Steve Menzies, 28
Team average 25.06 years. Captain Scott Sattler, 30
Team average 25.53 years. Captain Steven Price, 28
Overall: NRL age average = 24.25 years