When the Springboks or any other South African team touches down in Perth the West Australian Rugby Union know to call the Shamboks, a rugby team for the over 35s consisting mainly of ex-South African and ex-Zimbabwean members.
The team first got together in 1989 when the Golden Oldies tournament came to Perth and the members decided that it would be nice to have a Southern African team. At the time the team got permission from the South African Rugby Union to use the Springbok incorporated into a map of Australia as their logo
Since then the Shamboks have played at every world Golden Oldies championship, and participates in the local league in Perth.
To ensure that no one gets needlessly hurt, the league has a system to ensure that no one gets more physical than necessary. This includes a rule that players, who are over 60 or have a medical or physical condition, must wear red shorts indicating that they can't be pushed to the ground or off their feet. Only two players wearing red shorts are allowed on the field at a time. There are also rules relating to players aged 65 to 69 and over 70. One member of the league was forcibly retired at the age of 90 for his own health and safety.
The team is the official host of the Springboks in Perth and act as liaison between the Springboks and the WARU.
The next Golden Oldies championship will be held in Sydney in 2010.
If you're interested in joining the Shamboks contact Jerrald at Jerraldb@hotmail.com.