A 25-year career is impressive for anyone, especially an athlete playing a game as physically demanding as Rugby. Yet Shaun Pitt of Blaenau Gwent has done just that, with more than 700 caps for his local Rugby squad, Brynithel RFC.
Now 43 years old, Shaun still plays as a flanker for his team, and despite the physicality of the sport claims to never have broken anything. But Shaun plays at a local level – surely there are some pros who have played for ages as well, right?
How Old do the Rugby Pros Get?
Rugby is definitely a younger man’s game, but many players still continue well into their 30s, and hitting 40 as a professional isn’t unheard of. One example is England’s Nick Easter, who was called up for the England 2015 Six Nations squad at 36 years old. He was even being named man of the match for England’s Rugby World Cup 2015 squad, although he retired from rugby a year later.
Other older players include the USA’s Matekitonga Moeakiola, playing as a prop forward and scoring a try against England during the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Matekitonga competed for the USA again during 2015’s world cup, when he was 37 years old.
Closer to home, England’s Simon Shaw was 38 years old when he played his final international during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and going back a few years England even had a 37 year old captain, Eric Evans, who played his final match versus Scotland in 1958.
Play Rugby at a Local Level
Regardless of your age, you can get started playing Rugby, and it is a fantastic excuse to expand your social circle, get fit, and stay fit. Depending on the position you think you are best suited for, the sort of rugby drill to focus on in order to get match fit will vary, with forwards needing far more strength training, and backs needing to focus more on aerobic fitness. Suggestions for all positions can be found on sites like https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/.
No matter where you live, there is almost certainly at least one Rugby club near to you. Most will have players of all ages and experience levels, with a number of teams that can fit almost anyone who has the desire to play.