Meet the Doncaster player still going strong at the age of 41

Former Samoan international Misi Taulapapa is the ‘old head’ in Doncaster RLFC’s Betfred League One title-chasing squad.
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The utility back, who played in Australia’s crack National Rugby League earlier in his career, saw service with Championship sides Sheffield Eagles and Featherstone Rovers before checking in at the Eco-Power Stadium in 2021.

“Although I’ve not played as many games as I would have liked during my time at the club due to injuries – it has proved a great move and I’m loving being here,” said Taulapapa, who celebrated his 41st birthday earlier this year.

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“It’s a great stadium - I always enjoyed playing here - and the training facilities are excellent.

Misi TaulapapaMisi Taulapapa
Misi Taulapapa

“We’ve got a good squad, and we are continuing to add to it, and a great management team from Carl Hall downwards.

“There is also a great team spirit and everyone is working towards the same goal - promotion.”

Taulapapa was added to Richard Horne’s coaching staff last year – something he was delighted about.

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“I’m there to lend support as well as learning from the coaching staff,” he said. “When I’m not playing I try to be a leadership figure around the boys and be a link between them and the coaches.”

Like any sportsman still playing at his age, Taulapapa has to look after his body in between games.

“As well as training with the rest of the squad during the week, I also do my own training because I know myself that if I want to continue to play at this level I’ve got to put in the hard work,” he said.

“It’s also about lifestyle and making sure you get enough rest and that’s something that I also talk to the other players about.

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“To be honest I don’t know how I’m still playing at my age but the body seems to be holding up so I’ll see how I’m feeling at the end of the season. But at this moment in time I’d still like to be playing next season.”

He is, however, looking no further ahead than Sunday’s home game against Rochdale – the club’s last home game until late July due to the annual pitch renovation.

“We are currently unbeaten at home and one of our pre-season aims was to win all our home games,” he said, “But every game is tough and you’ve just got to take it one game at a time.

“We beat them at their place earlier in the season but we’ll need to be better on Sunday because they have picked up in recent weeks.”