Most professional rugby players start thinking about retiring from the sport when they are in their 30s. However, what they do once they have hung up their boots sometimes is more surprising than anything they ever did on the pitch. These are just some of the players who have gone on to enjoy successful careers in unexpected fields.
Phil Vickery – Fashion Designer
Phil Vickery, the former tighthead prop who played rugby union in England, was part of the country’s 2003 squad that won the World Cup. Injury forced him to retire from the sport in 2010. His next move came as a bit of a surprise to his fans. The former player founded the Raging Bull fashion brand, which is stocked by a leading chain store as well as independent retailers. The range include shirts, knitwear, t-shirts, and shoes with rugby-inspired elements.
Martin Bayfield – Actor
Before making his England rugby debut in 1991, Martin Bayfield was a policeman with the Metropolitan Police. He played in the 1992 Five Nations Grand Slam, and he was part of the 1993 British Lions New Zealand tour and the 1995 World Cup in South Africa. He retired in 1998. Following his exit from the game, Bayfield worked as a journalist, a dinner speaker, and most prominently, as an actor. His best-known film work is his role as Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies. Anyone with that much good luck on their side ought to be playing Australian online pokies.
Scott Quinnell – Scented Candles
The fragrances of jasmine and honeysuckle are not usually associated with rugby players, unless one’s name happens to be Scott Quinnell. Following his retirement after playing for Wales in the 1990s and early 2000s, he has worked as a TV presenter, and as a gaming ambassador. He and his family also own the Quinnell Candle Company, which manufactures environmentally friendly scented candles.
Nick Macleod – Baker
An injury to one of his big toes ended the rugby career of Nick Macleod, who had played a fullback/outside half for Welsh club, the Newport Gwent Dragons. Rather than allow the turn of events to get him down, Macleod turned his love of baking, something inspired by his grandmothers, into a professional opportunity. He contacted a former journalist-turned-baker, Elisabeth Mahoney, who had recently started the One Mile Bakery. After six months of talks, Macleod took over the Cardiff-based baker, and moved it to his home. Mahoney set about expanding the business by opening branches in other locations. Macleod now is one of the Welsh capital’s favourite bakers.
Kobus Wiese – Coffee Shops
Former South Africa and Golden Lions player Kobus Wiese enjoyed a highly successful professional sporting career. He played in the Super 10, Currie Cup, and Lion Cup events, and he was part of the Springbok squad that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Wiese now works as a consultant and a TV presenter. He also is the CEO of a coffee roastery, and he owns a chain of coffee shops in South Africa.