Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Working to a New Goal; Scheme to Help Stars Get Careers after Rugby

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Working to a New Goal; Scheme to Help Stars Get Careers after Rugby

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS JONES

WITH the new season about to start, Alex Codling appears to be the least likely rugby player to be worrying about his career prospects. The 6ft 6ins lock made his England debut in this summer's outstanding win over Argentina in Buenos Aires and signed a new three-year deal with Harlequins on his return.

While other players would be happy to revel in the benefits of international and club rugby success, Codling is already planning for life after his sporting career and others are following his lead.

Time was when the City broking desks and property companies handed out jobs for the rugby boys. Now being a high-profile rugby player does not automatically open doors to a new career when the boots are hung up.

That is why the Professional Rugby Players' Association (PRA) - the players' union - has teamed up with The Buzz Recruitment Consultancy to launch 'Kick Start' and Codling is part of a trial group of players who have been fixed up with employers.

As a result of their feedback, a presentation by the PRA and The Buzz will be made to all Premiership clubs.

Codling is one of a small group of leading players who, for one day a week, are swapping the drive to the training ground for a place among London's commuters as part of Kick Start.

They recognise that rugby union is a short-term option in their working lives and other skills will be needed to keep the bank manager happy.

In Codling's case, that involves a 9am start with independent financial advisers Park Caledonia in Wimbledon. The company is also working with Scott Murray, the Lions, Scotland and former Saracens lock, who visits its Glasgow office.

Codling did a business studies degree at Portsmouth University while still a member of London Wasps and continued his course after moving to Blackheath.

When he was offered a professional contract with Richmond, the lock forward jumped at the chance to turn a hobby into his career but failed to persuade the club to guarantee him time off to do a similar Kick Start work experience scheme. …

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