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Former England international Chris Sheasby charges forward during a vets match

Photo: Getty Images

As a famous old rugby player once said, only two things in life are certain: the referee and death.

Age inevitably takes it toll on the bodies of even the most hardened rugby players, but the passion and desire to play still lives on. Veterans rugby is a modified version of the game that provides an excuse to go out and get some fresh air before enjoying a quiet pint or two after a game.

Basic Rules

  • Uncontested scrums
  • Games should be 15-a-side
  • Rolling substitutions
  • Aggressive play is not encouraged
  • Not to be taken too seriously

Primarily the veterans game is enjoyed by players who are older than 35. The Golden Oldies should be 50 and above.  The European Golden Oldies Rugby website is a great place to find out more about the game.

The game is played as the normal 15-a-side with a few changes to suit the ageing. Rolling substitutions (where players are allowed to go off and return later), shorter playing times and a frown on vigorous play put the emphasis on fun, friendship, fraternity and family.

Find out how to organise your own event and see a detailed run-down of the rules of verterans rugby.