Picking a World Under-23 XV

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Picking a World Under-23 XV
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Bleacher Report picks a team of the finest U23 players in the world.

Following the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the International Rugby Board issued a statistical analysis of the event in which it broke down the ages of various players and groups within the tournament in comparison to years past.

The results were intriguing.

The 2011 World Cup saw a host of young stars make a big impact for their countries. Players across the whole of the tournament were getting bigger, stronger but most of all younger.

In 2007, the average age of a (World Cup) semi finalist was 28.7 years. By 2011 year that had dropped to 27.2. 

The back lines in particular are getting increasingly youthful, with the average age falling from 27.3 to 25.6 in the same four-year span. If that trend were to continue to the next World Cup, a 2015 semi finalist might not even have celebrated his 22nd birthday yet. In fact, 16 players who started in the World Cup 2011 semi finals were teenagers at the time of the previous tournament. 

With stats like these, we at Bleacher Report were eager to look at the world's crop of under-23 talent, to see where the stars of 2015 may come from.

Naturally, there are plenty of gems wearing Lions or All Blacks colours, but there are also a few rare finds that are turning heads elsewhere in the rugby universe.

So, without any further ado, we present our Bleacher Report World Under-23 Team. 

Drum roll, please...

 

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