Veterans still have a place in the NRL
Lote Tuqiri scores for the Tigers: NRL Round 20 Manly v Tigers @ Bluetongue Stadium Sun 25th 2010. Digi Image by Grant Trouville Â© action photographics.
There is a myth that the National Rugby League is a young man’s game. But a long list of grizzled veterans head into the 2013 season still with plenty to prove.
You can’t buy experience. Well, that is the old saying anyway.
No less than 20 players over the age of 32 head into yet another pre-season and another torturous NRL season.
Former Australian captain Danny Buderus heads into his 14th NRL campaign with the Newcastle Knights. It would have been his 17th if not for a three-year stint in the English Super League with the Leeds Rhinos. Buderus is still a vital cog for coach Wayne Bennett and the Knights.
Contract permitting, Scott Prince and Lote Tuqiri will play on in 2013. Prince has been the centre of a tug-of-war between the Gold Coast Titans and Hull FC. The premiership-winning pivot would be 33 if he plays on in the NRL next year.
The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles forward pack will be under the microscope in 2013 after youngsters Darcy Lussick and Daniel Harrison both signed with the Parramatta Eels.
The cornerstone of the pack will once again be Jason King, Brent Kite and the evergreen Joe Galuvao. King and Kite will both be 32 respectively next year and Galuvao will turn 35 in July.
But Galuvao, a premiership-winner with the Penrith Panthers and the Eagles, agrees that the myth is just that. A myth. Players can play on.
“Totally. I think the advances in training techniques and trainers use of sports science to custom training to individuals especially for older guys is a great benefit,” Galuvao told FootySocial.com.au.
“Especially at Manly where they have proven that with all our senior players.
“We [Manly] just know that we can only control what we can control and just get on with the job which is a great attribute to have at this club which has faced plenty [of pressure].
“In light of our pack getting on, I know the club has the future mapped out to face that hurdle when it comes.”
And when asked about his debut way back in 1998?
“To be honest I cant remember that far back (laughs).”
Danny Buderus 34 (Feb 6 1978)
Joe Galuvao 34 (July 8 1978)
Shaun Berrigan 33 (Nov 4 1978)
Fui Fui Moi Moi 33 (Sep 26 1979)
Lote Tuqiri 33 (Sep 23 1979)
Nathan Fien 33 (Aug 1 1979)
Matt Cooper 33 (Apr 18 1979)
Jason Ryles 33 (Jan 17 1979)
Luke Bailey 32 (Jan 5 1980)
Mark Minichiello 32 (Jan 30 1980)
Scott Prince 32 (Feb 27 1980)
Jeremy Smith 32 (Apr 14 1980)
Willie Mason 32 (Apr 15 1980)
Ben Ross 32 (May 23 1980)
Anthony Minichiello 32 (May 24 1980)
Michael Crocker 32 (June 21 1980)
John Morris 32 (July 29 1980)
Matt King 32 (August 22 1980)
David Fa’alogo 32 (Sep 9 1980)
Timana Tahu 32 (Oct 16 1980)
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