Age seems to have become less and less a barrier in sport as science, diet and recovery expertise evolves.Newport County’s Kevin Ellison recently made history by becoming the oldest ever goal scorer in the football league play-offs at the age of 42.
Phil Mickelson is now the oldest golfer to win a major at 50, and 42 year old Manny Pacquio has just signed to fight one of the leading boxers in the world in Errol Spence Jr.
Rugby League is more demanding than most sports but increasingly we are seeing players continue their careers into their late 30s.
There are plenty of examples in the Championship and League 1 – here’s a fictional team of those aged 35 or older that are still entertaining fans on a weekly basis.
1 Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e (36) – The Samoan international thrilled crowds during spells with Sheffield, Toronto, Halifax, Castleford and briefly Newcastle Thunder, before signing at Keighley, where in March he lined up alongside son Phoenix.
2 Misi Taulapapa (39) – Another long-serving overseas star having first arrived at Sheffield Eagles from Cronulla over a decade ago. Since then he has also featured for Featherstone and Newcastle and is now putting in his trademark big hits for Doncaster.
3 Jake Webster (37) – A genuine NRL star when he signed for Hull KR in 2008, he has since made England his home. Webster was a firm favourite with the Robins and Castleford supporters, spent a year at Bradford and is now one of three members of this team playing at Keighley.
4 Ryan Atkins (35) – Spells with Bradford, Wakefield and most notably Warrington saw Atkins establish himself as one of Super League’s all-time top 10 try scorers. Now at York he will be keen to finish a stellar career on a high.
5 Rob Worrincy (35) – Recently joined the 200 career tries club after an excellent career where long range scored have been his trademark in stints at Halifax, Dewsbury and Sheffield, the latter four times.
6 Rangi Chase (35) – The 2011 Man of Steel has certainly had a colourful career. Arguably one of the most talented players of his generation, he thrilled crowds at Castleford and Salford and has had spells at Leigh, Widnes and Doncaster before his unlikely move to West Wales.
7 Danny Brough (38) – Bradford is playmaker Brough’s eighth Yorkshire club and the third time in his career he has worked with John Kear. The pair seem to thrive alongside each other and Brough remains hugely influential.
8 Remi Casty (36) – The Catalans stalwart was a major capture for Toulouse this season and could give them the steel up front to make their Super League dreams a reality. A hugely popular figure with team-mates and fans alike.
9 Bob Beswick (36) – The Newcastle skipper is still steering teams around the park effectively after an excellent career that has taken in stops at Wigan, Halifax, Widnes and Toronto. A master playmaker at this level.
10 Adam Cuthbertson (36) – Grand Final winner at Leeds Rhinos who was one of a host of experienced players targeted by York as they look to challenge the Championship’s best. Still a skilled ball playing prop.
11 Harrison Hansen (35) – The number of tackles and carries made over Hansen’s career at Wigan, Widnes, Salford and Leigh would be eye-opening, and his non-stop work-rate is now benefitting Toulouse’s pack.
12 Danny Washbrook (35) – Another whose career has been built on consistently industrious displays, he was a key member of Hull’s Challenge Cup winning sides before heading for a new challenge at first Wakefield and now York.
13 Scott Murrell (35) – Huge fans favourite at both Hull KR and Halifax having come through the ranks at Leeds, he will be looking to continue his influence at ambitious Keighley this season.
14 Liam Finn (37) – Has been a stand-out player at this level at the start and end of his career, sandwiching impressive Super League spells with Castleford and Wakefield.
15 Fuifui Moimoi (41) – The grandad of them all at 41 years old, the former international is finding new fans with Rochdale.
16 Sean Penkywicz (39) – Not far behind Moimoi is his Hornets front row partner, who showed his evergreen nature with four tries against West Wales recently.
17 Paul Sykes (39) – The Dewsbury playmaker and former England international will join the 40 club later this year and continues to play to a high standard.
The other members of the 35-and-overs club if you want to make your own fictional team up are: Jessie Joe Parker (35), Carl Forber (36), Brett Ferres (35), Dom Brambani (36), James Lockwood (35), Scott Grix (37), Anthony Thackeray (35), Scott Wheeldon (35), Jason Mossop (35), Danny Kirmond (35), Tim Spears (36), Alex Rowe (36) and Neil Thorman (37).
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