It is not only professional Rugby players who need to plan ahead and at times ask for assistance when the moment arrives for retirement. This can also be the case for Rugby coaches, as recently experienced by former Defence Coach at London Welsh, Richard Tonkin.
Having started out as a Performance Analyst at London Wasps, Richard went on to perform the same job at London Welsh, before the opportunity arrived in 2016 to get involved in the coaching of the players, which he says was a smooth transition between the two roles.
However, Richard’s time as a Defence Coach was short lived, as the club was liquidated and removed from English Rugby’s professional ranks. Richard admits that this unsettling moment had an influence on him seeking greener pastures in the business environment, while “the lack of stability” and “limited opportunities” in coaching roles in the English Premiership also played its part in his move away from Rugby.
At the beginning of 2017 Richard sought assistance from The Rugby Business Network and through the Life After Rugby program, he began working as a Consultant at leading professional recruitment agency, Michael Page back in March. Richard explains how the program helped place him in a business, which complimented his traits and skills.
The team environment in Rugby and business have far more similarities than differences as experienced firsthand by Richard, as being “driven, motivated and competitive” applies to both settings.
Richard also gives some advice to other coaches looking to transition into business, insisting that being proactive and looking for opportunities to network is fundamental.