Youngest Premiership XV: The youngest ever debutant from each position – and what happened to them

These teenagers were the youngest players ever to be given their first start in the Gallagher Premiership by position.

NOTE: Replacement appearances do not count

Fullback: David Doherty (18 years 44 days)

Yorkshire Carnegie (vs Wasps, 13 Mar 2005)

Doherty was one of the most exciting prospects in English rugby when he made his debut against Northampton in May 2004 and was tipped as a future England international by the Guardian.

He joined Wasps after Leeds Tykes were relegated in 2006 but failed to impress before another unsuccessful stint with Sale Sharks. Doherty, who scored 49 tries in 107 games during two spells with Carnegie, is now Harrogate’s director of rugby and commercial director.


Winger: Jamie Elliott (18y 80d)

Northampton Saints (vs Sale Sharks, 19 Nov 2010) 

Having made his Saints bow against Saracens in the LV= Cup, Elliott made a try-scoring Aviva Premiership debut on the wing against Sale Sharks in 2011.

He’s since gone on to make over 100 appearances for Northampton, featuring strongly in Saints’ double winning season, but his career has been somewhat marred by injuries in recent years.

In July 2018, Elliott left Northampton to sign for RFU Championship side Bedford Blues ahead of the 2018-19 season


Centre: Elliot Daly (18y 191d)

Wasps (vs Leeds, 17 Apr 2011)

Where is he now? The 26-year-old is in exactly in the same place but is now an established England international. He also shone during the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

A centre by trade, Daly has managed to transition onto the wing under Eddie Jones, scoring a memorable winning try against Wales at the Principality Stadium during the Six Nations in 2017.

One red card against Argentina in 2016 is the only black mark on what has been a stellar career thus far.


Centre: Ollie Smith (18y 96d)

Leicester Tigers (vs Wasps, 18 Nov 2000)

Despite only winning five England caps, he was a 2005 Lion. He had stints at Montpellier and Harlequins after Leicester but had his career ended by injury aged 28. Coaching has followed, starting with Esher, leading him to London Welsh. He is currently overseeing Barking.


Winger: Matthew Tait (18y 86d)

Newcastle Falcons (vs London Irish, 2 May 2004)

The 31-year-old, who left Newcastle in 2008, joined Sale Sharks before making a move to Leicester Tigers in 2011 where he remains as a senior player.

Tait made his international debut for England in 2005.  At just under 19 years of age, he was the second-youngest player to have played for England since World War II, with only his Newcastle teammate Jonny Wilkinson having played at a younger age.

The speedster went on to establish himself as an England regular, playing in the 2007 Rugby World Cup final but hasn’t added to his 38 caps since being dropped by Martin Johnson in 2011.

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