|Outside of the backrow, the 2003 pack was heavier than the 2015 crew.|
The prevailing narrative surrounding the size of professional rugby players is one of ever increasing mass.
It was with this in mind that Rugby Onslaught went about comparing England's 2003 World Cup winnng side with today's crop of players heading into the 2015 tournament.
And then something very odd started happening.
The 2003 team was heavier.
The 2003 weighed a total of 1537.2kg or 102.4kg per man - 4kgs heavier than the 2015 team that played Ireland, who weighed in at a total of 1533kg or 102.2kg a man - roughly 200g per man lighter than their 2003 predecessors.
The 2003 pack weighed an average of 111.3kg (17st7Ib), which was slightly lighter than the 112.1kg (17st9Ibs) pack of the 20015 side.
The only area of the modern team consistently heavier than the 2003 team was the backrow, where the 2003 gave away a total of 25kg to their modern day equivalents.
PS: So after 12 years, the England team have not gained in mass, despite a groundswell of opinion that would suggest otherwise. Yes, it's a comparison between a relatively small cross section of players, but interesting non-the-less.
Loosehead:2003: Trevor Woodman 111kg
2015: Joe Marler 117kg
Hooker:2003: Steve Thompson 118kg
2015: Tom Youngs 101kg
Tighthead:2003: Phil Vickery: 125kg
2015: Dan Cole: 118kg
Loosehead secondrow:2003: Martin Johnson: 118kg
2015: Geoff Parling: 117kg
Tighthead secondrow:2003: Ben Kay: 112kg
2015: Courtney Lawes: 111kg
Blindside:2003: Richard Hill 102kg
2015: Tom Wood 107kg
Openside:2003: Neil Back 93kg
2015: Chris Robshaw 109kg
Number 8:2003: Lawrence Dallaglio 112kg
2015: Ben Morgan 116kg
Scrumhalf:2003: Matt Dawson 83.2kg
2015: Ben Youngs 92kg
Outhalf:2003: Jonny Wilkinson 89kg
2015: George Ford 84kg
Left wing:2003: Ben Cohen 103kg
2015: Jonny May 90kg
Inside centre:2003: Mike Tindall 102kg
2015: Brad Barritt 96kg
Outside centre:2003: Will Greenwood 100kg
2015: Jonathan Joseph 90kg
Right wing:2003: Jason Robinson 82kg
2015: Anthony Watson 93kg
Fullback:2003: Josh Lewsey 87kg
2015: Mike Brown 92kg