Introduction to Rugby Yarns with Uncle John

Welcome to the Rugby Yarn blog.

As rugby fans, we always hear about the players that are performing well, sometimes about players’ achievements post-game, but not much about the balance of life for players during their rugby careers.

Hopefully this blog will give you a unique view from myself and different rugby boys about our rugby experiences, setbacks, kick starts, goals, lifestyles, interests and the transition post rugby.

How this has come along?

An injury that will keep me sidelined for a few months has got me thinking about my next move…

The worst-case scenario is that I don’t recover well and I’m pushed into the ‘real world’ quicker than I thought, and I have to question whether I am ready for this step?

Best scenario is that I recover and earn another contract for a couple more years. This would give me the chance to work on the side to help the transition into life after rugby.

Who knows, maybe I’m over thinking the whole situation?!

Being at this crossroad of my next step, I want to share this experience and hopefully help others that maybe going through the same either now or in the near future. People won’t know how stressful and mentally tough it can be.

The plan

Talking to others will give me and hopefully you a better view of the good, the bad and the ugly sides of the professional game and the challenges and opportunities of life post rugby.

I will ask the people I speak with to pick a best 1st XV of players they have played with and their predictions for ongoing and upcoming competitions and games. If you’re lucky some players may do their own post.

I will try and post once a fortnight/month.

About me

At a young 33, I have been playing professional rugby for 12 years and semi pro for 2 years before that. I have played for Manawatu Turbos in the Mitre cup and Super 14 with the Highlanders in New Zealand, I have represented Samoa and was involved in the 2011 and 2015 World cup. I am currently in my seventh season at English Premiership Team Sale Sharks, based in Manchester.

I am married to a former professional netballer who has played for New Zealand. We have 5 beautiful children which forced her to close the curtains on her professional career in New Zealand.

It’s not in my nature to be doing this kind of thing, writing blogs and building websites is all new to me!  But like with my rugby, l want to learn new things and challenge myself to do something outside of my comfort zone. 

I hope this blog will improve my communication skills and help me to get my point across more effectively – I haven’t been so good at this in the past.

Bear with me, I’m learning… It’s a PROCESS…..


  1. Chur uncle John. What a great thing to do brother. As professional sport becomes a reality for our kids your insight of “the life” will be very valuable look forward to following bro. Get well soon

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck bro i will be reading from Argentina!!!
    Nice to see you are thinking about whats next when you wake up from living the dream!
    Still have a few more rugby years thou

    Liked by 1 person

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