Masters Rugby League, the social form of the game for men aged 35 and over and women aged 30 and over, came bouncing back last the weekend with its first full round of fixtures since 2019.
And as summer has finally arrived, organisers say there’s still time for new players to get involved.
Masters is a modified version of Rugby League, where the level physical contact depends on a player’s age (indicated by shorts colour), and where the emphasis is on having fun and making friends on and off the pitch.
The first full weekend of fixtures began with Cadishead hosting Spring View, followed by Leyland visiting Blackpool, Underbank travelling to Eastmoor, and Huddersfield Masters entertaining Siddal.
A weekend highlight was Stanley Rangers’ Masters bow against Normanton. On a warm and sunny afternoon, both teams played good rugby with some excellent handling. The pace was quick, but Stanley’s ‘young’ forwards were eventually frustrated by Normanton’s experienced ‘gold shorters’ Dave Barley and Simon Rishworth. Stanley’s first try at Masters was scored by Daniel Grice. The game was played in very good spirits. Both teams played their part in an excellent advertisement for Masters Rugby League.
The driving force behind the formation of the Masters team at Stanley is Richard Catley, who has brought together a group of enthusiastic players with a wide range of Rugby League experience. He said:
“I really enjoyed it. It was good to be back playing and to be in a team environment. The lads enjoyed the game and we have already had a few others enquire about playing after watching the game. We’re all looking forward to our next game.”
Masters Rugby League is part of the wider social Rugby League family, which also includes Touch, Try Tag and X-League. There are now more than 50 Masters clubs across the country and getting involved is easy – simply visit mastersrugbyleague.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about your nearest club, or to start up your own team.
Among the other teams beginning or restarting their Masters journeys were Aldershot, Aspatria (including 79-year old Ray Timson), Boothtown, Bury Broncos, Carlisle, Fleet Masters, GB Police, Medway Dragons, St Albans and Solent.