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North Gloucestershire Combination veterans team in good shape

All Areas > Sport > Rugby Union

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Monday, 23rd March 2020, 09:00

The North Gloucestershire Combination veterans have won both their games this season The North Gloucestershire Combination veterans have won both their games this season

Their rugby may be on hold for now, but the North Gloucestershire Combination veterans team looks to have a very healthy future.

Played two, won two is a pretty decent return for their efforts this season after wins over the Forest of Dean Combination vets and the Eggchasers and there could have been more but for the nationwide suspension of pretty much all sport.

“We were due to have played Chosen Hill and Brockworth,” said John Dix, who is one of the driving forces behind the revitalised North Gloucestershire Combination veterans.

And Dix, who has played a handful of games for Coney Hill in Western Counties North this season, is confident that the veterans will be up and running again in 2020/21.

“We played the Forest of Dean at Drybrook so they’ll have a return game with us next season,” he said.

“We want to play about five or six games next season, that’s about the right number at our age.”

Players have to be 35 or over to be eligible to play with the majority in their early 40s.

Dix, who is 40, said: “We’re generally players who are coming to the end of their rugby careers who still want to be involved.

“We’re still quite fit but we’re a bit old for first-team rugby so that’s why we’ve tried to resurrect the Combination’s veterans.

“So far, so good, and we’ll try to keep it going.”

The signs are encouraging and it’s certainly a pretty decent standard.

“It’s tough, physical, competitive,” said Dix, “but it’s played in the right spirit. If you get a knock you can come off, we have roll-on, roll-off subs.

“But it’s still serious, it gets the competitive juices flowing.”

The likes of Dave and Paul Knight as well as Ben Slatter have turned out for the team this season – the Eggchasers game was played at Gordon League – and Dix added: “I think pretty much every club in the Combination has contributed, we want to get everyone involved.”

And while it’s great for the players who can enjoy a runout, it’s great for the clubs who are hosting the games.

“Rugby is very important,” continued Dix. “Quite apart from the social side we’re putting a few hundred quid across a club bar on a Saturday afternoon.”

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