Ex-players return to Doncaster Toll Bar to play Masters Rugby League
“We don't stop playing because we grow, we grow old because we stop playing.”
That’s the motto of Masters Rugby League, which is taking off at Doncaster Toll Bar ARLFC.
Ex-players have returned to Prospect Road in their numbers following the formation of a new over-35s team.
They played their first game against fellow Masters newcomers Leeds Weetwood last month, with Shane Southgate scoring their first ever try.
“A group of old players were watching the first team and reminiscing about old times and how they wished they could still play,” said Toll Bar’s team organiser Carl Oakes.
“One of the players had heard about Masters rugby and so after a bit of research the team was formed and started training pre-Covid.
“We soon found there was a huge amount of interest and lots of ex-players got in touch to join. We have 40 players signed on with 23 playing in the first match.”
Masters is a non-competitive, social form of rugby league aimed at keeping older players active. There are no winners, no champions, no leagues, no cup finals and all games end in a 0-0 draw.
Players wear coloured shorts relevant to their age and the rules are modified. Those aged 35-49 wear white or black shorts and play full contact. Those aged 50-59 wear red shorts and must be stop tackled, while anyone aged over 60 wears gold shorts and plays touch and pass.
Carl joked: “It can get very confusing at times because there are basically three simultaneous games running on the same pitch!
“It’s one thing seeing the rules written down but another thing actually putting them into practice.
“We found out pretty quickly that gold shorts players are a law unto themselves!
“It was great to see some of the younger guys running 30 to 40 metres downfield only to then have to bring the ball back as a gold shorter is stood there with his arm in the air.”
Toll Bar’s next game is at home against Hull Masters on July 18 (2pm).
Anyone interested in joining Doncaster Toll Bar Masters should email [email protected]
For more information visit mastersrugbyleague.org.uk.