A rugby league career is often short-lived as opposed to other careers, with 20 years perhaps the maximum spent on the field.
That means that, after players hang up their boots, a new direction is often needed to give that fulfilment to former rugby league stars with a number of players struggling to adapt to the different climate.
However, there are some players who thrive in their post-rugby life so here are ten of the best post-rugby league careers.
Nick Youngquest – Paco Rabanne
Could there ever been as much of a change in career direction as Nick Youngquest?
After hanging up his boots in 2012 following a successful spell at Castleford Tigers, the fleet-footed winger decided to go on a completely different path – modelling.
Paco Rabanne snapped him up and Youngquest has regularly been seen on TV adverts with the Invictus cologne being shown to millions on the television.
Keith Mason – Film Star
Keith Mason was the enforcer on the field but he’s now a film star – his first film, Imperative saw the former Super League forward become crime-stopper DCI Sullivan whose wife goes missing.
Mason has previously appeared in the film Skin Traffik alongside Mickey Rourke and Daryl Hannah, and has subsequently appeared in the TV series Peaky Blinders.
And, now he is set to star in another film titled Enter the Furnace, which Mason labelled a ‘high octane thriller.’
Darren Fleary – Women’s Prison Officer
Former Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain international forward Darren Fleary was a tough, uncompromising prop for the West Yorkshire club from 1997 to 2001.
He then played for his home town side, Huddersfield, and Leigh, but retired from professional playing at the end of the 2005 season to take up a new career.
Fleary became a women’s prison officer at Armley Prison, looking after inmates there in a far cry away from rugby league.
Adam Fogerty – Actor
Adam Fogerty played for St Helens and Halifax in the 1990s, winning a Super League winners’ medal for Saints.
Since hanging up his boots in 1997, Fogerty has had numerous film and TV roles, including Snatch with Brad Pitt.
In 2019, Fogerty was cast as an ’emergency plumber’ for the British insurance company Direct Line.
Joel Thompson – Rail Construction
Joel Thompson’s new rail career appears to be building – if you’ll pardon the pun.
Thompson, who joined St Helens ahead of the 2021 Super League season and then retired at the end of last year, is now a manager for THEE Group in Slacks Creek, Queensland, Australia – a rail construction and maintenance company.
But, he is also set to take up a coaching role within the NRL and more specifically former side Manly Sea Eagles.
Ben Westwood – Fast Food Van
Ben Westwood launched his Super Bennies Food Emporium back in November 2019, which is a fast food wagon serving everything from bacon and sausage butties at breakfast to burgers, chicken curry and jacket potatoes at lunchtime.
He began his career at local team Normanton Knights, before being scouted for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in 1999.
Joining the Warrington Wolves in 2002, Westwood stayed at the Cheshire club for 18 seasons, becoming the club’s longest serving player, before retiring in 2019.
Danny Kirmond – Landlord
Danny Kirmond was best known for being a long servant for Wakefield Trinity.
The second-rower spent nine seasons at Belle Vue between 2012 and 2020 – and was captain for the majority of those – but now coming towards the end of his career at the York City Knights, Kirmond is now a landlord.
The Sharlston Rugby Club is now home to Kirmond and his partner.
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