Home International Rugby Wales international Peter Rogers comes out of retirement at 53 to play in same team as his son 

Wales international Peter Rogers comes out of retirement at 53 to play in same team as his son 

by Giga
Wales international Peter Rogers comes out of retirement at 53 to play in same team as his son

What better way to celebrate your son’s 21st birthday than to play rugby with him 18 years after your last competitive match?

That’s exactly what Peter Rogers, the former Wales prop, did over the weekend when he stepped out of retirement at the age of 53.

With his flanker son Jack in the home pack, the 18-times capped loosehead lined up for St Peters 2nds against Abercynon 2nds.

He got a 45-minute run-out after unexpectedly beginning the match for the Cardiff club, and he enjoyed it so well that he is considering playing again.

“It was a totally off the cuff thing,” he explains.

“Jack had been playing for the firsts, but he got Covid and couldn’t train for a few weeks.

“He was due to be a travelling reserve on the weekend, but he said he would rather play a full game for the seconds.

“So the team manager of the seconds texted me and said they were really proud of Jack for doing that.

“He then said ‘By the way, we are really short in the front row’ and he put a little emoji with a fishing rod and a hook on it!

“I thought, well it’s my boy’s 21st and it would be lovely to play with him on his birthday and make it a special day.

“So I texted the team manager back and said ‘If you are that short, I wouldn’t mind’.”

It was then a matter of digging out the old boots and getting ready for his big comeback.

“When I went down into the kitchen in the morning, I banged my chest and said ‘Game day today, boys!’” reveals Rogers.

“Jack still lives at home, so we drove to the club together. It was like proper game day.

“I was thinking I might get on for the last 20 minutes.

“But we got into the changing room and the captain goes ‘Do you mind starting?’

“I had no choice, I said go on then.”

“My last game of proper rugby was for Bridgend against Neath in 2004,” he said.

“I’ve played a few veterans games since then, but with vets you tend to have a gentleman’s agreement that you don’t push in the scrum and some of the tackling is just grabbing,

“But this was proper full-on scrummaging.

“Then with the first tackle I went quite high and, wow, the shudder on my shoulder.

“But I loved it, well, until the next day!

“My son jumps at the front of the lineout, so I was lifting him. It was lovely, it was, special.

“It was quite a feisty match. There were a couple of little bits of fisticuffs going on.

“They beat us in the end. It was a 13-8 thriller in the mud, but it was great fun.”

Wales international Peter Rogers comes out of retirement at 53 to play in same team as his son

After the game, the St Peters players sang Happy Birthday to apprentice electrician Jack out on the pitch and then it was into the clubhouse.

“We did quite well in the scrums,” said Rogers.

“We had most of the penalties and were going forward in every scrum more or less, apart from one.

“Their tighthead came over in the clubhouse and he gave me a pint of Guinness and said thanks for the lesson.”

Rogers now weighs in at 105kgs, about two and a half stone lighter than when he played pro rugby, and he turned 53 earlier this month.

But he’s still clearly able to make his mark on the field.

“Put it this way, St Peters have asked me if I can play the next game,” he said.

“I said I will let them now.

“Do you know what, I might play again next time.

“I’m definitely not going training, but if they phone me the night before I might think about it.”

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