Life as a rugby player

London Welsh back TOM MAY, writing on, reveals some of the merits and the downside of being a professional rugby player.

While May is grateful and privileged to be playing rugby as a career, he raises certain points regarding the off-field implications that one must come to terms with as a professional athlete.

‘There are many sacrifices, whether that is missing family weddings or birthdays, time with friends and family, opportunity in work and qualifications, breaks with friends and even not being able to eat and drink as and when we want to. There is also the physical side. The continual training on the field and in the gym takes its toll. Just look at some of the people who have played at the highest level for the longest time; physically they are in pieces.’

One of May’s main concerns is ensuring a post-rugby career and what that will entail.

‘Life after professional sport scares many and I think too many players brush it under the carpet, as it is easier to ignore it. By then though it's too late. There are those who think about the future and continue a life away from rugby so that when the dreaded day comes there is a pathway in place; but there are also others who do nothing.’

Read May’s full column