Remember when James Haskell announced plans to enter the world of MMA steel cage fighting?
This was not a joke. Haskell, who enjoyed a near 15-year playing career, winning 77 caps for England in the process, decided he wanted to give the “sweet science” a go at the tender age of 36 only for his debut fight to be cancelled..
Since hanging up his boots in 2019, after representing Northampton Saints and Wasps, he’s forged a successful media career with The Good, The Bad and The Rugby podcast along with work or BT Sport and Talk Sport.
But the competitive itch, that engulfs every professional athlete, doesn’t immediately go away. Haskell is no different. Despite his failure to crack the world of MMA, many rugby stars move into another sport once they’ve called time on the beautiful game.
It’s not a common occurrence but in some cases we’ve also seen ex-players put sports behind them entirely and enter a completely new profession.
Here are five such examples.
#1. Phil Vickery – Fashion designer/Chef
Following his retirement in 2010 due to injury, Vickery established his own fashion line named after his moniker. Featuring rugby-inspired tops and T-shirts, shirts, footwear and knitwear, the Raging Bull brand is stocked in 30 House of Fraser stores and 90 independent retailers in the UK.
Vickery, who won Celebrity MasterChef in 2011, has launched his new enterprise No.3 as a collection service after plans to open a restaurant were delayed.