1. Trevor Woodman
Born in Plymouth, Woodman spent the majority of his career in the South West of England with Gloucester Rugby. The loose-head prop was forced into retirement at just 29-years-old, due to a problematic back injury. Woodman called time on his career a year after joining Sale Sharks, as he hung up the boots in 2005. Woodman soon turned his attention to sports broadcasting, as he provided commentary for Fox Sports in Australia.
Woodman then pursued a coaching career ‘down under’, and began working with Sydney University. The former prop soon progressed in the world of coaching, and achieved the position as scrum coach for the Australian national team. the 22-capped England international then returned to the Premiership, as he took up a role as forwards coach with London Wasps. He has most recently been the scrum coach of his long-time on-field club, Gloucester.
2. Steve Thompson
Following his retirement in 2011, Steve Thompson and his family moved to Dubai where he took up work within the construction trade. However, the former hooker has since returned to England, due to his developing battle with early onset Dementia after a career of concussions. Thompson is one of a growing number of ex-rugby players who are speaking out about their retirement struggles with this neurodegenerative disease.
Thompson joined the likes of former Welsh international Alix Popham, in taking legal action against rugby’s governing bodies. The 45-year-old has recently appeared at the launches of a new book by journalist and concussion activist Sam Peters, entitled ‘Concussed: Sports Uncomfortable Truth’. Thompson has spoken publicly and within documentaries about how he does not remember winning the 2003 Rugby World Cup, and is a key voice in the conversation regarding rugby player welfare.
3. Phil Vickery
A former Gloucester and London Wasps prop, Phil Vickery called time on his career at the end of the 2010 Premiership season. The two-time British & Irish Lion was a revered opponent across the world, and has since started a successful clothing brand ‘Raging Bull’, with his on-field nickname. Vickery was forced into retirement due to a series of neck injuries, and in 2012 he joined Worcester Warriors as their Scrum Coach.
Vickery has also tried his hand at sports broadcasting, as he was apart of the commentary team for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. His on-screen appearances have also been witnessed across a variety of TV shows, including ‘Celebrity MasterChef’, which he won in 2011. An eternal fan favourite at Kingsholm Stadium, Vickery was appointed the title of Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire in 2015.