At 43rd UFAR National Festival in Toulon EVRA should have been more presented . . . only EVRA Select XV Team (Over 50) and I Fossilli Dolomitici Old Rugby Belluno (Italy) took part at this traditional Veteran rugby event, with not complete teams ?
In spite of that fact EVRA and Fossilli players were satisfied with the new “French experience” of Veteran rugby they “got” . . .
Tihomir Vranesevic, Team Captain and EVRA Representative for Croatia and Thierry Dias, EVRA player and Representative for France sent for Web News this Report with the intention to enable our players/members/web visitors to get the “feeling” about the real Rugby atmosphere of this big Rugby nation . . .
For EVRA Team had played Nenad Semenov, Safet Cerim, Denis Velickovic, Josip Blazevac, Vladimir Smojver, Tihomir Vranesevic, Suvad Kapetanovic, Pomper (all Croatia), Rosario Biunno (Italy), Ole Bang (Denmark), Thierry Dias (France), I Fossili (Italy) Patrizio Zupo, Pierangelo Alzetta, Ilio Bortoluzzi, Alessandro Da Canal, Fabio Dalla Corte and as quests the players (some with, some without the names ),from Les Farios (Christophe Adenot), from Les Ruines (Christophe Martin – Planplan).
The first Festival day was “reserved” for Over 50s players, about 180 of them coming from 26 Festival teams, had honour to play at famous RTC Toulon Stadium (Top14), opening the Festival.
Matches had been “tailored according to the age” - each team played three matches (12 minutes Halftime) . . .
The end of the day EVRA players spent in a restaurant at the seaside, “renewing” the memories of the past day and when they played proper Rugby . . .
The second Festival day was the day of Over 35 players – I Fossili, supported by French and EVRA friends played had the games vs. Les Arlequins (Macon), Les Gigots Bitumes (Lyon), Les Vieux de la Vielle (Annonay Ardéche / Auverge Rhóne Alpes), Les Papa Kools (Frejus/St. Raphael Var PACA) and Les K´Beaussés (Var – PACA).
Thierry wrote about his day´s experience: “We have mostly over 50´s and 60´s players and the playing rules had been adapted to our age, even one 72 years old gentleman and a heart operated Rugby guy were the part of our Team. No injuries, quite a pleasant rugby games, even as we have not the opportunity to win one match despite one try (or more)! “
The Festival finished with “Evening Party” and the “Awards Ceremony”. . . Les Pan Tintat (Beaumont de Lomagne) veterans were the “Winner” getting right to organize next UFAR National Festival in 2023 – the year of Rugby World Cup in France.
EVRA presented special made plaques to the teams they played, the Organisers and “Rugby super oldie” Francois Maire (Marseille) who officially “retired” form his favourite Sport.
EVRA got the presents from UFAR and the teams we have played . . . nice memories for EVRA collection.
To finish this Report, the words of Team Captain Tihomir Vranesevic: “ It was all really the lifetime experience . . . to play at legendary Mayol Stadium with rugby friends from almost every corner of Europe . . . .”
Hope to see you next time somewhere at international veteran events and for sure in 2023 at the World Rugby Cup in France . . . E V R A will be there.
Taking a look at the Festival Gallery (1 – 12) will surely awake your plans for the future . . . remembering that our Sport is “not only a game, it is the way of Life”
Marko Protega, Team Manager
with the great help from Thierry and Tiho, thank you