Rugby retirements make you think about the future

There have been a couple of high-profile retirements from the game in recent months.

And Craig Newby and Ben Woods have both retired in the last few weeks at my old club, Leicester.

Only when those things happen, do I tend to think of what I would like to do when my playing days are over.

It can be quite a daunting prospect to think of what might lie ahead when I finish playing the game I have played all of my life.

I know other blokes feel the same way too – but it something that is rarely talked about.

Tom Varndell says playing is such a big part of your life you rarely think about retiring. Picture by Richard Lane Photography

Tom Varndell played for Leicester Tigers before moving to London Wasps for the 2011-12 season.

Rugby is such a huge part of your life when you are playing it and you are under so much pressure to perform well and keep winning that every ounce of mental and physical energy you have tends to go into making yourself better. It’s your life, you live for the moment and you spend all of your time with mates in your club who do the same as you.

You can sometimes feel invincible and there’s often little time to contemplate life after rugby.

I guess when the body start taking longer to recover on a Monday morning, guys start to think about it a bit more.

I am lucky enough to have a pretty clear idea of what I would like to go on and do when my time comes – although hopefully, that won’t be for a long while yet.

I'd like to think that I could get involved in teaching in some respect.

I enjoyed school very much and like studying. I enjoyed the academic side of things and feel like I have picked up a load of information during my playing days about sports nutrition and biology.

I also enjoy the coaching side of things too and helping others learn to play the game. I love science and English language and got my A Levels before I got into the professional game around the age of 18.

For me and all the other lads involved in the sport, the Rugby Players’ Association do a cracking job with offering all sorts of courses and further education for its members. They do a great job and don’t just focus on players when it is there turn to retire.

They really do look after players and do whatever they can to help them get qualifications and degrees

To have them behind us is reassuring and a big help.


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