Canterbury touch player 'modern day Peter Pan' after rep selection at age 74

A stalwart of Canterbury touch rugby, Barry Clausen continues to prove age is just a number.

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1 NEWS Sport spoke with “Bazza” at Canterbury Touch’s annual open day over the weekend. Source: 1 NEWS

The 74-year-old has been selected in the Canterbury over-55 side for the upcoming nationals, making him the oldest rep touch rugby player in the country.

The bulk of his teammates are 20 years younger.

Team manager Steve Wilkinson described Clausen as a "modern day Peter Pan".

"He just doesn't get old!"

"He's an inspiration and if I can hang around until 74, just hang around until 74, let alone playing touch then I'll be delighted."

Canterbury Touch held its annual open day over the weekend, allowing Clausen to show off his skills in a friendly against the over-50 side.

He proved his worth, making multiple line breaks and nearly dotting down for a try.

"My favourite part about playing touch at my age is you can continue to play if you're fit enough and why not get out there and do it," Clausen said.

There are not many fitter than Clausen — just ask his opponents.

"Look at him, he's not even sweating," over-50s player Howie Devon remarked.

"Seventy-four and not even sweating. I'm 55 and look at it dripping off me."

But it has not always been smooth sailing for Clausen, who credited ACC for much of his longeivity, having had 60 visits to the physiotherapist.

Prior to each game, Clausen puts his team through its paces in a warmup designed to prevent specific touch injuries and keep those visits to a minimum.

His coach, Graeme O'Callaghan, said none of the team could retire before Clausen.

"He's a great man. First to training, last to leave.

"It keeps us playing."