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Wells and Thacker keeping options open

Working hard in your rugby career is one thing, but preparing for life beyond the game is just as important – and that’s exactly what two Leicester Tigers players have been doing with support from the RPA.

Harry Wells and Charlie Thacker were both certified with Level 3 Personal Trainer qualifications last week, after support from the Club and the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA).

Wells, who recently renewed his contract with Tigers, said that keeping one eye on life after his playing career is ‘vitally important’.

“You just don’t know what could happen around the corner,” he explained.

“You’ve always got to have an idea of what you might like to do and it’s a case of looking at what you want to do and experimenting.

“It’s important to try things while you’re playing, and then you can do what you need to do early on to try and get yourself ready to go down that route.”

The 25-year-old forward is also completing a Level 3 Coaching course, to add to a growing collection of qualifications.

He continued: “I’ve done refereeing as well, and this personal training aspect kind of gives me an appreciation of the physical side of stuff, so it’s another string to my bow in that area.

“The support is vitally important, but I think it’s something that you have to go and do yourself. It has to be off your own back.”

Harry Wells

Meanwhile Thacker, who is yet to feature so far this season due to injury, admitted that a long lay-off can force a player’s perspective.

“Having an injury like this gives you a lot more time to think about those sorts of things,” he said.

“It just brings home the fact that a career can end at any point, so you’ve got to be thinking about what’s coming afterwards.

“I saw [the qualification] as a good opportunity to improve my CV, as I’m interested in that area anyway.”

But does Thacker think being a qualified personal trainer will reduce his need for strength and conditioning sessions?

Tongue firmly in cheek, he added: “I didn’t need them anyway, mate. The genetics in me…”

The Rugby Players Association is the representative body and collective voice of professional rugby players in England, and aims to support, promote and protect the interests of players.