Former Ireland centre, Rob Henderson says the memories from his years with the national team still remain strong, even 14 years since he played his last game in the green jersey. Rob talks about how he had ambitions of becoming a professional footballer before Rugby grabbed his attention and the disappointment of missing out on the 1999 Rugby World Cup, which spurred him on to work harder.
Rob is a big believer in taking the positives away from negative experiences and in doing so, through grit and determination, be made the 2001 British and Irish Lions squad that toured Australia and started in all three tests. He discusses the ability to adapt to playing in a team made up of players from four nations, which makes it the highest accolade of his career. Having played for London Irish, Wasps, Leinster, Munster and Toulon during his career, Rob mentions the highlights for him from each club and that being able to adapt to playing Rugby in England, Ireland and France was not a problem.
When Rob decided to end his professional career in 2007, he confesses that it took him three years after hanging up his boots to accept that his career was truly over. Even during his years as a Rugby player, Rob had a keen interest in property and finance and at the beginning of 2017 he joined one of the UK’s leading Real Estate Recruitment and Executive Search businesses, Deverell Smith as their Client Services Director. Rob talks about how The Rugby Business Network played a part in introducing him to the company. Having spent time as a commercial mortgage broker in development finance, a European Government bond broker and setting up his own property consultancy business over the last 10 years, Rob says adapting to the advances in technology was the challenge when moving from one business venture to the next. Discipline, commitment, organisation, communication and team ethic are the core values Rob says are the commonalities that exist between Rugby and Business, having experienced both for many years.
Rob touches on his charity work with Debra, Wooden Spoon, School of Hard Knocks and The Variety Club and the importance of giving back by helping the less fortunate. Away from business, Rob says spending time with his wife and three daughters allows him to recharge and stay motivated. Rob also offers some words of advice to both retiring professional Rugby players and businesses on how they can assist one another and for players to adapt easier to the corporate world.
“If companies aren’t already involved with The Rugby Business Network, please get involved. It’s a fantastic networking tool for businesses, but also for prospective new talent that is just sitting there, waiting in the wings, ready to enhance, develop and promote your business. So I think The Rugby Business Network is essential.” – Rob Henderson (Client Services Director at Deverell Smith / Former Ireland International)