Where Are These Former Rugby Players & What Are They Doing Now?
Latest posts by Jamie O'Connor (see all)
- Who Should Replace Johnny Sexton As Ireland Captain? - October 18, 2021
- Online Gambling Operators Sponsoring Rugby Teams - July 11, 2020
- The Best And Worst Of Rugby Player Comebacks - June 15, 2020
Where are they now?
The Rugby World Cup 2019 is nearing its end with England and South Africa set to battle it out in the final this weekend.
While we’re waiting to see which nation will be victorious in Japan, let’s take a trip down memory lane and see where some former players are these days and what they are doing.
Plenty of Them Turned to Presenting
It is not at all unusual to see retired professionals turn into pundits. It happens in football, in tennis and in motorsports – and rugby is no different.
Take for example Jeremy Guscott. After playing for Bath from 1984 to 2000 and scoring 710 points and appearing in 65 games for the English national team, he retired and is now working full-time as a pundit on several BBC rugby programmes.
Moreover, in 2016, he was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame and to this day would still make most people’s dream teams.
Another former rugby player who found employment at the BBC as a pundit and presenter is Brian Moore. His broadcasting was even shortlisted in the Sports category of the 2011 BAFTA Television Awards as part of the overall BBC coverage.
Plus, after being a vocal critic of rugby referees for years, he qualified as a referee in 2010.
An Irish player who played both rugby league and rugby union – Brian Carney – is now a professional commentator, who works for Sky Sports as one of the presenters for their GAA coverage.
Others Became Ambassadors
Some retired players decide to put their name and reputation behind a variety of worthy causes and famous companies.
In addition to being a rugby analyst for BT Sport and ITV Sport, Irish legend Brian O’Driscoll is also an ambassador for Land Rover.
It is to be expected that brands will go into battle when it comes to famous players and that is exactly the case with another big legend – Richie McCaw. While many have tried to capitalize on his success, he has kept his ambassadorship contained to only a few big names, such as MasterCard, Adidas and Mercedes-Benz.
As reported by Irishluck, “former Ulster, Ireland and Lions rugby player Stephen Ferris is the latest sportsman to join Ladbrokes’ line-up of brand ambassadors from Ireland, serving as a high-profile representative of the betting company.”
Ladbrokes is a bookmaker that gives people the chance to bet on the outcome of the World Cup. He will be sharing his expertise and opinions when it comes to the tournament through social media posts, weekly blogs and personal appearances.
Irish legends Shane Horgan and Ronan O’Gara meanwhile, have teamed up with leading energy supplier Energia in order to promote #PositiveEnergy – a campaign that aims to harness the fans’ positive energy to help the national team succeed.
And Some Have Gone in a Completely Different Direction
There are also some rugby players that have decided to take their career in a completely different direction.
Former lock Martin Bayfield turned to acting after retiring from the sport due to a neck injury sustained in 1998. The Englishman had appeared in several films, such as Wrath of the Titans and the Harry Potter franchise.
He played a young Hagrid and served as Robbie Coltrane’s body and stunt double. In addition to acting, he has also worked as a presenter for several Rugby World Cups and appeared on Celebrity MasterChef in 2018.
If you watched Game of Thrones, you may have noticed Joe Naufahu, a former Glasgow Warrior player. He starred as Khal Moro in season six.
Another former rugby player who decided to give acting a go is Ian Roberts. After retiring in 1998, the Australian enrolled in the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney and then moved to the U.S. to seek acting opportunities.
He had cameos in movies such as Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Little Fish, appeared in the 2006 film Superman Returns and had a starring role in the movie Saltwater. He also had various roles in multiple television mini-series in Australia.
New Zealander Andrew Hore meanwhile has returned to his family farm after retiring from the sport following the 2013 season. He lives and works there full-time and has turned down several overseas offers in order to stay close to his family.
Seeing as some international players, such as Ireland’s captain Rory Best, have decided to retire after the World Cup, we’ll have to keep following their careers to see what they will do next.
In the meantime, the Rugby World Cup final takes place this weekend – and we cannot wait.