Bath Rugby’s Matt Banahan scored his 50th Premiership Rugby try against Sale Sharks on Friday night becoming only the 17th player to reach the milestone in the 20th season of the competition, writes Stuart Farmer.
The first to the landmark was Sale flyer Steve Hanley in September 2003, whilst the only forward so far, Neil Back, joined him in the exclusive club the following March. Back, at 35 years and 70 days at the time is the oldest ever to run in a 50th try.
Hanley’s record for the youngest to the milestone was eventually broken by speed merchant Tom Varndell who was just four days past his 24th birthday on becoming the 10th to the target in September 2009.
Banahan is one of just 11 players, and the first from Bath, to have scored 50 Premiership Rugby tries for a single club, with the all-time record holder being Mark Cueto’s 90 tries for Sale Sharks. Cueto scored his 50th try in April 2006 and remains the fastest in terms of time, at just four years 238 days since his debut in the tournament. However, in terms of matches played it is Christian Wade who was the quickest on only his 78th appearance, although Varndell ran in his 50th try 5,456 playing minutes into his career and almost 500 minutes quicker than 2nd fastest Wade to the landmark.
It was Banahan’s 159th Premiership Rugby appearance, with only Tom May (202 games and over 12 years from debut) taking longer in terms of matches played to get to the target.
Full list of the members of the 50 Club: