"Still got it" - John Afoa makes stunning return to rugby aged 39 - Ruck

“Still got it” – John Afoa makes stunning return to rugby aged 39

Prop John Afoa made history in Super Rugby as he starred for the Crusaders during their convincing 42-18 victory over the Waratahs on Saturday.

The standout moment of the match was Afoa’s inclusion in the starting lineup, just two days after his arrival from France.

Coach Scott Robertson urgently called upon Afoa due to the absence of three injured All Blacks players, Joe Moody, George Bower, and Fletcher Newell, who will be sidelined for the rest of the season.

Having previously played for the Blues, Afoa hadn’t participated in a Super Rugby game since 2011. Remarkably, at the age of 39 years and 223 days, he became the oldest player in the competition’s history.

With a total of 496 first-class games under his belt, a significant portion of which were played for European clubs such as Ulster, Gloucester, and Bristol, Afoa expressed his eagerness to seize the opportunity to play for the Crusaders.

“When the call came, it doesn’t matter if it’s the Crusaders or the Blues, I was just keen to come home and play in front of New Zealanders and my family,” he told broadcaster Sky Sport.

“The last couple of days have been a bit of a whirlwind but it’s been amazing. I don’t have many moons left in my career, this is probably the last year of my career.”

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#1. Tom Varndell

Oxford Harlequins welcomed the former premiership record try scorer who will take on a dual role combining his rugby management career with his exceptional rugby talent.

Varndell has agreed to assume the position of Head of Rugby at Oxford Brookes University, which has close links to Oxford Harlequins.

In addition to his management role, he will also become the Head of Community at the club, while still playing for the team.


Marcus Boswell, the student sport manager at Oxford Brookes had the following to say about their star capture;

“To secure someone of Tom’s calibre, as a coach and a mentor, is of great excitement for both our current and prospective students who are looking to play rugby union,

“It goes without saying that the relationship between Oxford Brookes and Oxford Quins continues to go from strength to strength, and this announcement is another indication of that.

“We will continue to work hard in all areas of our sporting delivery and wider area of activity together, and reap the successes both on and off the pitch for our student athletes.”