A fast-paced and highly thrilling game, rugby is popular across the globe. While majority would be happy to play the role of spectators, there are the ones who may actually want to be part of the action. If you belong to the latter group, the one question that immediately comes to mind is how to become a professional rugby player. Sometimes, even parents ask the same question. If you think you have what it takes to excel in the sport of rugby, here’s how you can become a professional rugby player.
Grade system – This is applicable for aspirants under 18 years of age. Most schools, colleges and clubs have this grade system wherein interested players of up to 18 years of age can participate. It allows players to develop their rugby skills at an early age and in a safe environment. The skills developed in the grade system are applicable for other sports as well. So, if anyone wants to pursue a career in other sports, they can easily do so. Players under the grade system get exposure playing with national and international teams of the same age group, e.g. under 13, under 15, etc. If you perform well in the grade system, you might get noticed by a professional club.
Join an academy – This route can be taken if you weren’t able to succeed via the grade system. There are a number of rugby academies that provide dedicated rugby training to candidates. Some of these academies are run by professional clubs, which can increase your chances of becoming a professional rugby player. At the academy, you will undergo skills training, conditioning, tactical awareness, and technical skills development. If you do well, you could be signed by a professional club.
Amateur clubs – If you have been a bit late in your rugby career, you can start playing at lower levels. For example, you can be part of amateur clubs or semi-professional teams. You have to be really good when playing at these levels. Based on your performance, you could win a contract with a professional club. From there, you can keep up the good work and climb higher leagues.
While you pursue a professional career in rugby, it is important that you complete your education as well. Rugby players usually retire in their 30s, as the game is too physically draining for anyone older than that. Not everyone earns ample amounts to support them through the rest of their lives. Plus, there is also the risk of your rugby career being impacted by an injury. Education will be your insurance and will help you find new career opportunities post your retirement from professional rugby.