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The NRL Match-Up: What does the average player look like?

Posted: 2 May 2019 2:14 pm
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NRL Finder TNF logo Image: Finder

We compare the average height and weight of every position.

With the NRL back bigger and better than ever, we thought we'd do what we do best at Finder and start comparing everything NRL. Each week we take a look at one aspect of the game, from the spectacular to the silly, to see who comes out on top.

With Round 8 kicking off tonight, we compare the average height and weight of each position, and find the current player that best fits the bill.

Finder's Thursday Night Football – South Sydney Rabbitohs v Brisbane Broncos, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium

Anyone who's followed the NRL for a while knows that players have gotten bigger, faster and stronger over the years.

We see how each position sizes up in today's game, and see which players best represent the "average" for their position.

Picture not described: KalynPongaNRL_Supplied_738x410.jpg Image: Supplied

Fullback

Average height: 184 cm

Average weight: 91 kg

"Average" player: Kalyn Ponga - Newcastle Knights (184 cm, 92 kg)

The skilful 21-year-old utility may be anything but average when it comes to ability, but he's almost on the money in terms of average size for a fullback.

Last year's Dally M runner up and Origin debutant started the season at five-eighth but has since returned to the no.1 jersey where he excelled last year.

Winger

Average height: 186cm

Average weight: 97kg

"Average" player: Dallin Watene-Zelezniak - Penrith Panthers (186cm, 97kg)

The Kiwi captain made his 100th appearance for the Panthers earlier this season and is right on point in terms of build. While he filled in at fullback for much of 2018, Watene-Zelezniak's natural position is on the wing, and he has the size to suit.

Centre

Average height: 187cm

Average weight: 97kg

Average player: Phillip Sami - Gold Coast Titans (186cm, 97kg)

The 21-year-old found himself dropped to the bench following a disappointing performance against the Raiders in Round 1, but has now seized his second chance. After captain Ryan James went off 12 minutes into the Titans' game against the Knights, Sami made up for missed time, scoring his side's first try on the way to a 38-14 victory.

Benji Marshall NRL Image: Supplied

Five-eighth

Average height: 182cm

Average weight: 91kg

"Average" player: Benji Marshall - Wests Tigers (183cm, 91kg)

Back at the club where he made his name, Benji Marshall is closing in on the 300 club, but remains one of the NRL's most exciting players on his day. He's also the third most-capped player in Wests Tigers history, but the veteran half still has the build of the typical modern five-eighth.

Luke Brooks NRL Image: Supplied

Halfback

Average height: 180cm

Average weight: 87kg

"Average" player: Luke Brooks - Wests Tigers (180cm, 88kg)

Not only does last season's Dally M Halfback of the Year set the standard for no.7s in the NRL, but he also fits the bill in terms of height and weight. And at the age of 24, Brooks has already bagged a couple of unique records in his career.

In 2014, he was named Dally M Rookie of the Year, and in 2015, he became the youngest player to feature in the NRL All Stars match. He's also the first West Tigers halfback to reach 100 NRL games, and is the club's all-time leading try-scorer from halfback, with 31 tries in 113 games.

Hooker

Average height: 179cm

Average weight: 90kg

"Average" player: Robbie Farah - Wests Tigers (179cm, 91kg)

Of all positions on the field, the hooker is the one that's undergone the least change in terms of size. In 2004, the average hooker was only 1cm shorter and 1kg lighter than today's average, which perhaps helps explain Farah's longevity.

Like Benji Marshall, Farah made his debut in 2003 and is now close to 300 games in the NRL, having also appeared 16 times for NSW in Origin and played internationally for both Australia and Lebanon in his distinguished career.

Lock

Average height: 186cm

Average weight: 104kg

"Average" player: Mitchell Barnett - Newcastle Knights (187cm, 104kg)

The versatile forward has been in rich scoring form so far this season, with three tries in the first six games, and has even kicked a goal.

The position of lock has seen some of the more drastic change in terms of player size, with the current average up a whopping 7kg on the 2004 average. With more expected from the position in both attack and defence than ever before, the modern lock is bigger and stronger, and the all-action Barnett is no exception.

Second Row

Average height: 188cm

Average weight: 104kg

"Average" player: Joe Stimson - Melbourne Storm (189cm, 104kg)

The promising Storm forward has yet to play an NRL game so far this season due to a back injury but has impressed for feeder club Sunshine Coast Falcons. He made 24 appearances in the 2018 season, and was rumoured to join the Dragons during this season, but by all accounts he remains firmly in Melbourne's future plans.

Like hookers, the size of second rowers hasn't changed too much over the last couple of decades, with the 2004 average only 2cm shorter and 3kg lighter than the modern equivalent.

Front Row

Average height: 190cm

Average weight: 110kg

"Average" player: Thomas Mikaele - Wests Tigers (190cm, 109kg)

The young Tigers prop made his NRL debut in round 1 this year, but is every inch the modern prop. He's been named on the interchange every game so far this season and will be looking to rack up more minutes on the pitch in the coming weeks.


Images: NRL

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