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Is this bloke Australia's oldest rugby player?

Sporting News logo Sporting News 5 days ago
a group of people playing football on a field: 71-year-old Russell 'Rusty' Mackie. © Sporting News 71-year-old Russell 'Rusty' Mackie.

He is club’s rugby oldest player – and he’s not done with yet.

At the ripe old age of 71, Russell ‘Rusty’ Mackie trotted out for his 378th-grade game on Saturday after coming on as a late replacement for Manly’s fifth-grade side.

The club legend slotted in at hooker and helped anchor the Marlins scrum as the home side held on for a 24-21 win over Northern Suburbs.

“I’ve never once said I had retired so you shouldn’t be too shocked I’m out there,” Rusty told Sporting News.

“You can tell ‘Billy’ (top grade coach Brian Melrose) I’m available for first grade next week if he needs some experience up front.

”I might kick on and try to get to 400 games.”

Mackie is an institution in Sydney club rugby, filling every role from player to committee member to linesman and water boy during nearly 50 years at the club.

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