The Tokyo rugby club keeping elderly players healthy

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In Japan, which is hosting the Rugby World Cup this month, 150 clubs stage competitive matches for players above the age of 40 - and Tokyo's Fuwaku Rugby Club has three over-90s.

Members of Tokyo's Fuwaku Rugby Club train outdoorsImage source, Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Of Japan's 120,000 rugby players, about 10,000 are over the age of 40.

Image source, Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters
Image source, Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters
Image source, Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Ryuichi Nagayama (below left), 86, says: "You tackle and battle each other but the gathering after the play is so enjoyable and fun.

Image source, Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

"We talk about how each other plays and no-one gets angry about how we played. The atmosphere is great."

Image source, Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

As a practising doctor, Mr Nagayama is very aware of the risks involved in playing a high-impact sport at his age.

The Fuwaku Rugby Club's website gives detailed advice on health precautions and includes links to a life-insurance company.

Image source, Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

"Since I joined Fuwaku club, I have broken ribs many times and broke my collarbone too," Mr Nagayama says.

"When I noticed an irregular pulse, I would take medicine to adjust so I can still do it. I can't stand not playing.

"This may sound strange but I have lost my wife years ago and now I would say I don't mind dying playing rugby."

Mr Nagayama can be seen in his home below, praying at an altar for his late wife.

Image source, Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Another Fuwaku player, Tony Hartley, 71, is originally from the UK.

"I was at the Tokyo Sevens and I got chatting to a guy next to me because he had a shirt on that said: 'Fuwaku Rugby Club since 1948', which is when I was born, so I was curious," he says.

"He said he could introduce me to the club, which he did the following week and I have been playing more or less ever since. That was seven years ago.

"I was really surprised because the scene doesn't really exist in the UK, certainly not at 60 [or] 70. It was a really welcome surprise and a good way of making friends."

Image source, Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Photos by Kim Kyung-Hoon.