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The inexperience of England's backs

John GriffithsFebruary 20, 2014
Marland Yarde is congratulated on his debut score © Getty Images
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Was England's back division in Paris the least experienced ever? Dave Bell, England

The cap total for England's starting backs in Paris was 91 with Danny Care (42), Mike Brown (21) and Owen Farrell (19) the most experienced in this respect.

It wasn't even a record under Stuart Lancaster! His run-on backs in the second Test in Argentina last June, when Marland Yarde and Jonny May made their Test debuts, had only 33 caps apiece, with Brown (17 caps), Lee Dickson (8) and Jonathan Joseph (5) the most experienced that day.

Restricting the search to Six Nations matches, Lancaster named a run-on back division with only 66 caps for the game with Wales at Twickenham in 2012 - his third game in charge of the side.

In his first game, against Scotland 2012, he had a starting back division with 100 caps - augmented by Charlie Hodgson's 36 at fly-half. Farrell started his England career that day in the centre.

Details with caps before each Test:

v France 2014
Brown - 21
Nowell - 0
Burrell - 0
Twelvetrees - 8
May - 1
Farrell - 19
Care - 42
Total: 91

2nd v Argentina 2013
Brown - 17
May - 0
Joseph - 5
Eastmond - 1
Yarde - 0
Burns - 2
Dickson - 8
Total: 33

v Wales 2012
Foden - 24
Strettle - 9
Tuilagi - 7
Barritt - 2
Ashton - 20
Farrell - 2
Dickson - 2
Total: 66

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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Writer Bio

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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