Saturday 10 December 2016

Peter Bills: Kiwis' wealth of talent is a small wonder

Peter Bills

Published 24/03/2011 | 05:00

Consider these figures: New Zealand has around 120,000 registered rugby players -- 8,000 less than Japan, which is a minnow in international rugby terms.

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As for England, who always head such a list, the figure is over five times more than New Zealand -- a massive 650,000. Ireland, incidentally, has something in excess of 150,000.

These are all approximate figures. But I'd like to know the answer to this simple question: if England has more than five times as many players as New Zealand, why is it that the latter could, right now, put four world-class centres into their Test side, whereas England don't really have one?

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