Ex-Samoa international to play on in 2024 at age of 42: ‘There’s still life in the old dog yet!’

Ben Olawumi
Misi Taulapapa

Veteran Misi Taulapapa has penned a one-year contract extension with Doncaster, and accordingly will play on in the Championship next season at the age of 42, 18 years on from his professional debut.

The Auckland-born back’s senior career began in 2006 with NRL outfit New Zealand Warriors, originally starting out in rugby union with local outfit Waitemata Football Club.

He has been with Doncaster for the last three seasons, amassing 44 appearances for the South Yorkshire outfit. 15 of those came this year, with six tries, as Richard Horne’s men gained promotion up from League 1 via the play-offs.

Taulapapa will turn 42 on January 25, and having inked a contract extension at the Eco-Power Stadium, will pull on a Dons shirt in the second tier once again just a few weeks later.

Former Samoa international Misi Taulapapa to play on in the Championship in 2024 at the age of 42

After a brief stint with Cronulla Sharks, representing his Samoan heritage at the 2008 World Cup during that time, Taulapapa made the move over to England ahead of the 2010 season.

Initially meant to join Gateshead Thunder, he ended up with Sheffield Eagles as a result of financial issues being faced at the time by the North East outfit.

The veteran would go on to feature 168 times for the Eagles over the six years which followed, though that time too comes with a caveat.

Taulapapa had signed a contract to join Super League outfit Hull KR ahead of the 2012 season before new Robins boss Craig Sandercock decided that he wasn’t going to be in his plans, with the back instead sticking with Sheffield.

When he eventually departed the Steel City, it was for Featherstone Rovers, where he would spend three years and score a further 32 tries.

There was then a short stay in the North East, many moons on from the Gateshead Thunder saga, as he joined the now-known Newcastle Thunder, featuring on just 24 occasions before moving on for pastures new and Doncaster ahead of the 2021 campaign, which is where he’s remained since.

‘There’s still life in the old dog yet!’

In the season just gone, the four-time Samoa international surpassed the milestone of 350 career appearances, with another landmark in 150 career tries not too far away.

Speaking to Doncaster’s club website having put pen to paper for 2024, Taulapapa said: ”I’m grateful to be here for another year, there’s still life in the old dog yet!

“We’ve got a big season ahead of us and we can’t do it without the fans, so hopefully they show up in their numbers as they did last season and we can go again.”

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