Home International Rugby 5 rugby stars who had normal jobs before going pro

5 rugby stars who had normal jobs before going pro

by Saba Gulmagarashvili
5 rugby stars who had normal jobs before going pro

We should sometimes remember to honor those international rugby heroes who worked in other sports before making it big in the game we all love.

In an era where you only make it if you dedicate your life to it, it’s rare to find players who just months prior to their professional career were grinding the 9-5.

Sam Underhill (England) – Painter/Decorator

Before signing a professional contract, the future England great worked as a painter and decorator under his grandfather. When his rugby career is over, the 25-year-old, who enjoys being busy, hasn’t ruled out a return to the trade.

Sam Underhill

Finn Russell (Scotland) – Stonemason

While his rugby career progressed, the Scotland star completed a three-year apprenticeship as a stonemason in a business owned by a family friend. Russell, who earns £300 a week and has £50 in his pocket from Falkirk Rugby Club, is currently one of the best stand-offs in the world and surely one of the most exciting.

Finn Russell

Joe Launchbury (England) – Supermarket

After being released by Harlequins at the age of 18, the future England second-row took work at a nearby Sainsbury’s to support himself while playing rugby for National 2 North club Worthing. He worked in the bread section, which he describes as an “excellent grounding” that taught him the value of hard work.

Joe Launchbury

Karl Tu’inukuafe (New Zealand)

loosehead prop Tu’inukuafe went from being a 27-stone nightclub bouncer to becoming a Test tyro. He only made his Super Rugby debut in 2018, yet he has already earned 24 All Blacks caps.

Liam Williams (Wales) – Scaffolder

starting off as a scaffolder. It didn’t work for the faint-hearted, with Williams rigging scaffolding “over the top of a blast furnace, 300 feet from the ground” back in Wales.

Liam Williams

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