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EVRA Festivals

5th European Veteran Rugby Festival-
Belluno (Italy) 2019

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Constant rain during the 5th EVRA Festival in Belluno did not spoil good rugby athmosphere and the enjoyment the Festival organiser, with numerous volunteers,  have prepared for European veterans, gathered in this nice Town, "under the feet" of Dolomiti mountains.

Veterans from Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Ukraine and Wales played in two age-groups Under 50s and Over 50s, under the "guidance" of the group of 10 experienced Italian referees led by Paolo Bucci and EVRA Referees co-ordinator Andrew Stevens (Netherlands).

After two days of games and "singing in the rain" EVRA Executive Board decided that the Festival most valuable  prize - Jeff Butterfield Trophy this time goes to AMSTERDAM ACADEMICALS, who had participated with two teams . . . Their Team Manager  Fake Herman Nieuwenhuis, receiving the Trophy from EVRA Secretary Marko Protega, at the Festival Gala Dinner in old Padavena Brewery said, very shortly :  "Amsterdam Academicals were proud to take part in this great European Veteran event . . .  See you all next year at the 6th EVRA Rugby Festival. "

The Oldest Festival Player José Redondo (76) RC Lousa Veteranos (Portugal) was the first one to receive the new Fritz Ueberle Sr.Trophy donated by Family Ueberle (Heidelberg) as the Challenge cup for the future European festivals . . .

Both Rugbymen were the ones of EVRA founders, supporting this European Association from the very beginning in 2010.


Also at Belluno EVRA Festival- Europe Select XV Team, Over 50s had participated with "oldies" players from Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary,  Italy, Israel, New Zealand, Scotland and Spain.

The oldest EVRA player was Borut Kurtovic (Israel) at age of 70 . . .


4th European Veteran Rugby Festival-
Siedlce (Poland) 2017

Still one month to go, last minute entries possible.

Rugby – Friendship – Fun

On 14 - 18 September 2017 we invite you to Siedlce for 4th European
Festival EVRA, it will be the biggest Rugby festival in Poland this year.




3rd European Veteran Rugby Festival-
Farnham (England) 2015

Rugby World Cup England 2015 started with sunny EVRA Festival


Skäne Old Boys, the selection of veteran players from south of Sweden are the new holders of EVRA European Festival most precious award - Jeff Butterfield Trophy.

From the very start of the Festival games with their approach to veteran rugby - having fun playing the Game, respecting the opponents, with "high social performance" - it was clear who will "winn" the Trophy - to keep it for the next two years in their clubhouse.

When Farnham RUFC was bidding to organize European Festival by the end of 2013, Paul Brooker, the Festival Director "promised" perfect weather and playing conditions and a lot of Fun for European veterans.
And, he had right - all three "conditions" had been fulfilled, together with the fourth one - adequate and perfect refereeing by the Surrey RFU referees led by veteran John Robertson, better known as J.R.

On Thursday evening at the Welcome Drink the Festival was officially opened by the Mayor of Town Farnham, Lady Pat Frost  and Geoff Robins, Farnham RUFC Chairman.


The openning game on Friday has been played by Over 50 ´s of the hosting club - Escargots (The Snails) and EUROPE 20XV EVRA Select Team, with players from 10 European countries. The games to follow for the veterans from 12 nations had been played on three excellent grassed pitches of Farnham Sports & Leisure Park, opened by Lord Sebastian Coe in 2012 before the London Olympic Games. The matches had been played all three days because of the fact that many teams visited RWC matches, with the highlight game New Zealand vs. Argentina at Wembley Stadium, played in front of 89.713 spectators, what is the "world record" in visiting one rugby match.

The Festival Gala Dinner on Saturday was also part of 40th anniversary celebrations of Farnham RUFC, one of the "youngest" English clubs. During the Gala Dinner the Organisers of 2017 EVRA European Festival had been officially announced - the next EU Veteran Rugby "Meeting" will be in Poland (September 14 - 18th) in Siedlce, town with great rugby tradition . . .

Festival will be  organised by WFS Siedlce, Polish Veterans and Polish Rugby Union (PZR).

Special EVRA 2015 awards were presented the same evening to the Club Chairman, Geoff Robins, as well as to Geoff Bond for the Rugby Football Union, that supported this great veteran rugby event, to be held for the first time in England after 1985, when the 4th Air New Zealand World Golden Oldies Rugby Festival had been organised in London.

Regular Festival Awarding Ceremony took place in big Festival marque on Sunday, where the usual Festival organisers and EVRA awards had been given to all participating teams.

Following teams / individual players had beem awarded:

"The More the Merrier Award"  went to Galicia Old Boys (La Corunha, Spain)
"I would Walk 500 Miles" Award went to Old Boys Hungary
The Oldest Festival Player,  this time two gentlemen had deserved this prize
José Redondo and John Wilson (each born in 1943), both playing for
Lousa RC Veteranos (Lousa, Portugal)
"The first Festival Try" Award went to Andrew Mortimore, the Prop of Escargots Over 50 ´s team and . . .

The Jeff Buttefield Trophy went to Skäne Old Boys (Sweden) and had been presented to Team Manager Boris Polimac by EVRA Secretary Marko Protega and Federico Riccardi Sirtori, Team Manager of Old Cernusco Rugby team - Il Coyotes - the Trophy "winner" in 2013 in Esztergom (Hungary).

Special thanks went to the numerous volunteers of Franham RUFC without whose engagement and williness to help in any situation, this great Festival would not be possible .  . . Thank you Farnham RUFC in the name of European veterans.

EVRA Festival plagues were presented additionally to the members of Local Organising Committee - Paul Brooker, Geoff Robins, Andrew Mortimore and to tireless "all round player" Sebastian Fox.




2nd European Veteran Rugby Festival-
Esztergom (Hungary) 2013

It was the nature that „caused“ that this EVRA Festival had been held in two neighbouring countries, Hungary and Slovakia. The immense flood begin June, just twenty days before the Festival start, dangered this prestigious European veteran rugby event. Some teams cancelled the “last minute” their participation, what caused further problems to the organisers.

But in only ten days with enormous efforts of Esztergomi Vitezek RFC, their members and friends the Club Sports Centre, situated only 50 meters from the river Danube, was ready to receive veterans from 12 European countries on June 20th 2013. As only one Festival field remained unplayable the Organisers decided to “move” over the Danube Bridge to Sturovo (Slovakia) to the excellent soccer pitch where the Festival games had been played too. Festival director Sandor Féher, Gabor Stiglmayer together with Péter Novak, both responsible for the Games Schedule, took care that the whole event ran smoothly and in real veteran rugby spirit. Also Europe – EVRA Select XV team took part, this time with 40 players from 14 European countries. Welcome Cocktail Drink was at the picturesque old Town Castle, while the Festival Farewell Dinner took place at the Club´s Sports Centre, with live music and plenty of beer. Pleasant atmosphere, “interrupted” with Awarding ceremony, lasted until late in the night.


Two presidents Tomás Espinosa (EVRA) and András Neuzer (LOC) awarded following teams and individuals:


Jeff Butterfield Trophy – the most precious Festival award – went to Le Coyotes, Old Rugby Cernusco (Milano, Italy) for at most shown Spirit of EVRA European Festival on- and off the pitch

The More the Merrier Award – for the team that brought the most number of Festival participants – went to Juromenha RC Oldies (Portugal)

I would Walk 500 Miles Award – to the delegation that travelled farer went to – Évora RC Veteranos/ Porto Old Greens (Portugal), they travelled 2.967 Km to take part at this European Festival.

At the end of the Awarding Ceremony EVRA President Tomás Espinosa (Spain) announced the host of the 2015 EVRA European Festival, presenting the “Festival Flag” (made especially for this occasion by Galicia Old Boys) to the Festival organiser Paul Brooker, Farnham RUFC (Surrey, England).

Paul thanked for the confidence of the European veterans “giving” them EVRA Festival to be held during the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.Farnham RUFC “promised” with the support and help of Rugby Football Union and Town of Farnham to organise the biggest ever European Festival.

We all wish them good luck!

Goodbye Hungary, be welcome to England 2015



1st European Veteran Rugby Festival-
Cascais (Portugal) 2011

After welcoming the Global Championships Tour in Horse Jumping and the America´s Cup (Sailing) in the last weeks, the veteran rugby Festival will be the next international sports event in this European Riviera, where all guests are going to feel and enjoy the true hospitality "mixed“ with the beauties of the host country.

European Festival will start on Wednesday evening (September 7th) with the Cocktail Party at Casino Estoril, welcomed by  Portuguese Rugby Union and the Cascais rugby veterans headed by the Chairman Goncalo Faria de Vasconcellos and Jorge de Herédia, the Festival organiser.

On Thursday (September 8th) rugby games will be played the whole day long on astroturf playing field at the Cascais Rugby Club Stadium.
All teams will play to "win“ the most precious Festival prize - Jeff Butterfield Award, silver cup donated to EVRA by his wife Barbara.

J.B. Award will go to the team that expressed at most Fair Play, belonging to the rugby community and the social responsibility being part of big European rugby veteran family . . .

All Festival prizes, including Jeff Butterfield Award, will be presented at Gala Dinner at Estoril Congress Centre on Saturday evening, September 10th.


Friday (September 9th) is the day at leisure, participants can either use the opportunity to sail, or play golf – or, for the "early birds“, to watch inaugural Rugby World Cup match in New Zealand, All Blacks v. Tonga, at Cascais Rugby Club,  or just "doing nothing“, enjoying  the breeze from the Atlantic ocean. On Saturday (September 10th) is the second playing day - the games will be played until late in the afternoon at Cascais Rugby Club Stadium again.


The Festival closing game will be played by EVRA Selection v. the "Winner“ team of Jeff Butterfield Award.

The same day will be held also the Executive Board meeting to decide about the host of European Festival 2013.
The strongest candidates are the veterans of Esztergomi Vitézeki Suzuki RFC (see Photo) headed by their President Neuzer András.
The highlight of the Festival closing day, September 10th, will be late evening 60 ´s to 80 ´s Music Party at Tamariz for all the participants, organisers, sponsors, helpers and of course Cascais citizens.


Jeff Butterfield Award


This most precious Festival prize will be awarded to the "Team with the best European Festival Spirit“.

Barbara Butterfield, Jeff´s widow, donated over 110 years old silver plated Cup for this valuable award.

The "winner“ will be decided at each European E.V.R.A. Festival by the special jury.

Jeff Butterfield Award

Laws of the Rugby Veteran Games


European Veteran Rugby Association (EVRA) is played in a non-competitive manner.

Festivals are not tournaments: the result of the game is of no significance. There are no winners and losers in EVRA – instead the game is played to provide fun. Exceptions can be made by National Teams having their own Tournament(s). Special awards are made for the individual or the team's achievements. Friendship, Fair Play and Fraternity are the main aims in EVRA Rugby.


At European EVRA Festivals players should be divided in two age categories:
a) 35 – 50 years,

b) over 51 years.


Each team has the possibility to agree with the opposing team to play "Full IRB Rules".
This decision has to be made prior to each match by two captains and the match referee.



Every EVRA player is responsible for his health condition and the participation in the Game.
Participating in a European EVRA Festival, or any other event throughout Europe, the Player is obliged to have documentary proof of Health and Personal Insurance.
Organizers of EVRA Events including LICOR BEIRÃO EUROPEAN SERIES are not taking any responsibility in case of accidents/injuries that may occur during the Game itself, or during the Event.

LAW 1. GROUND (Still LAW 1)

As per IRB Laws of the Game.

LAW 2. BALL (Still LAW 2)

EVRA games are to be played with the Ball Size 5.


As per IRB Laws of the Game. In addition, Substitutions are unlimited at EVRA.

Replacements, for a sent off reason should be accepted by the captain of the team “with potential numeric advantage”.



(LAW 4. Players'‘ Clothing)
As per IRB Laws of the Game, except Footwear (4) studs 4.3a & b) – EVRA rule; low-profile studs or grass-sport shoes.


(LAW 5. Time: Toss is now in Law 6)

As per IRB Laws of the Game, except:
Duration of play – 3 x 20 minutes, with 5 minutes pauses between, or according the E.V.R.A. Events organizers decisions.

At the European Festival 2015 (Farnham, England) each game will be played
2 x . . minutes, decision to be made by Local Organising Committee depends of the number of teams entered.

Each of the teams will have at least three games per playing day (Friday, Saturday or Sunday). No team will play at two consecutive days.

Definite Games schedule will be made by the Organisers - LOC after the closing date of the entries,


(Still LAW 6., but sub-paragraphs different)

As per IRB Laws of the Game, with the following alternations:


A.    Referee

1.Referee is appointed by the EVRA event organizers, or is mutually agreed (upon) between two teams.

2.If the referee is unable to officiate for the whole period of a match a replacement will be one of the touch judges.

3.In EVRA game the score is of no importance.

4.As per IRB

5.As per IRB

6.As per IRB

7.No validity at EVRA game.

8.As per IRB

B.    Touch Judges

As per IRB: (1), (2), (3) and (4).

(5) No validity at EVRA game.

(6), (7) and (8) do not apply at EVRA game.



As per IRB, except "Kick, or otherwise propel the ball" is not allowed.

Running with the ball – no player is allowed to run with the ball more than 20 meters at one time.

The offending team will be "penalized" with the scrummage – put in for the opposition at the place of infringement.


As per IRB, only without 100% "strictness".

EVRA game is not a CONTEST game.


(Now in LAW 8 LAW 9 see below)

As per IRB Laws of the Game.

LAW 10. KICK – OFF Now LAW 13)

As per IRB, except the scoring team is starting the game after the try with kicking the ball to the opposition (Seven a Side Rugby rule).


As per IRB Laws of the Game, but score is not counted.

LAW 12. TRY and TOUCH-DOWN (In new LAW 9)

A. Try
As per IRB, with exception that the team scoring a try shall also restart the game by kicking the ball to non-scoring side.

B. Penalty Try

As per IRB

C. Touch-Down

As per IRB

D. Scrummage after grounding in case of Doubt

As per IRB.



(In new LAW 9)

As per IRB, with exception that the kick at goal after a try must not be taken.

LAW 14. IN – GOAL (Now LAW 22)

As per IRB Laws of the Game.

LAW 15. DROP – OUT (In new LAW 13)

As per IRB Laws of the Game.


(Now LAW 18)

As per IRB Laws of the Game.


(Now LAW 12)

As per IRB Laws of the Game.

LAW 18 / 19. TACKLE (18),

(Now LAW 15, clearer definition, does not apply to EVRA Rugby)


(Now LAW 14)

As per IRB Laws of the Game. But, with "a sense of feeling" by the referee in respect to the age of players.

Law (18) Tackle – All players must observe the restrictions on tackling (stopping) "older" player.

Players of both teams are wearing adequate coloured shorts, indicating their age.

The following system of Identification of Players is valid throughout the Europe:

35 – 39 years White shorts              40 – 49 years Blue shorts

50 – 59 years Black shorts               60 – 64 years Red shorts

*65 – 69 years Yellow-gold shorts ** 70 and over Purple shorts

* Players wearing these shorts may not be tackled (brought to the ground),

** Players wearing these shorts must not be stopped (or tackled).
Shorts for such a player(s) will be given by Festival Organising Committee.

When such a player has, or runs with, the ball, the match referee has to shout loudly the colours of the shorts so that the opposition should be aware of the fact of having in front of them a "super oldie", and to act appropriately.

LAW 20. SCRUMMAGE (Still LAW 20 – Scrum)

As per IRB – U19 Laws – with the following variations:

All eight forwards must remain bound in the scrum until the ball has been cleared,

  • There must be no pressure scrummaging, or movement of the scrum,

  • There shall be no striking against the head,

  • The scrum half must not follow the ball around the scrum.

LAW 21. RUCK (Now LAW 16)

As per IRB Laws of the Game. But, again, with "a sense of feeling" by the referee in respect to the age of the players involved.

LAW 22. MAUL (Now LAW 17)

As per IRB Laws of the Game.


(Now LAW 19, options open to players not in line-out, of no significance for GO Rugby))

As per IRB Laws of the Game – with the following variations:


  • In lineouts all eight forwards must take part,

  • All lineouts shall be set (no quick "throw in",

  • Lifting in lineout is not permitted.


LAW 24. OFF–SIDE (Now LAW 11)

A. Off–Side in General Play
As per IRB Laws of the Game.

B. Off–Side at Scrummage
With alterations as mentioned under Law 20 – Scrummage.

C. Off–Side at Ruck and Maul
As per IRB Laws of the Game.

D. Off–Side at Line-out

With alterations as mentioned under Law 23 – Touch and Line-out.

Off–Side while not participating in line-out: as per IRB

Players returning to "on–side" position: as per IRB.

LAW 25. ON–SIDE (In new LAW 11)

As per IRB Laws of the Game.

LAW 26. FOUL PLAY (Now LAW 10)

Generally speaking EVRA rules do not permit unsportsmanlike behaviour, or over vigorous play, and so are minimising the chances of injury.

Referee's decisions as per IRB Laws of the Game.

Players Ordered Off – There is no "sin bin" in EVRA game.
Player ordered off must not take part further on during the same GOR event.


As per IRB Laws of the Game, with the exception "penalty kick must always be taken as short-kick".

No kicking at Goal, or In-Out is allowed.

Kicking is generally allowed only inside own "22 meters area".

LAW 28. FREE KICK (In new LAW 9)

As per IRB Laws of the Game.

Veteran Game Laws
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