Which Professionals Have Played Rugby Overseas?

The global club rugby game would be a boring place if there wasn’t a single professional overseas player. It is more common to see players from the southern hemisphere moving to Europe where there is more money in the game than the other way round. But, there are great examples of players moving to Australia and New Zealand to develop their rugby before heading back home to the UK. With the rise of the domestic game in Japan, this is becoming a popular route for many later in their careers to finish with a healthy pay packet. 

From the early days with Pat Lam at Northampton and Michael Lynagh at Saracens around the turn of the century. To the current crop of overseas professionals spread across the globe. The finest imports are not measured purely by on-field deeds but often by the hole they leave at a club upon their departure. 

Below we will look in a little more detail at some of the most famous professional players to play outside of their home country. Looking at just a few will leave out the hundreds of players making the domestic game a much brighter and diverse place.

rugby team overseas

Dan Carter

In June 2008, Carter made the decision to sign a six-month contract with French club side Perpignan, who paid Carter the staggering equivalent of £30,000 per game. This kind of money had not been seen in club rugby before. 

After helping the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup, the kiwi first joined Racing in 2015. It was known at the time as the biggest contract in world rugby. He was part of Racing’s 2016 Top 14 championship winning team and helped them to two runners up medals in the European Champions Cup. Carter, who won 112 All Black caps, scored 445 points in 58 games for Racing.

He left France at the end of the 2017-18 season to join the Kobelco Steelers in Japan.

Carter has the rare accolade of being on championship winning teams in three countries – New Zealand, France and Japan.

Jonny Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson Kick

Wilkinson won 91 caps for England and he was an integral member of the England squad which won the 2003 World Cup. ‘Wilko’, one of England’s most well known players was one of the first to move to France and paved the way for many more to follow. In 2009 he moved to Toulon, where he won two Heineken Cups and one Top 14 championship in five seasons.

Like many that moved to France, Wilkinson was well paid but he also recognised the other benefits the relocation had for his rugby. “The best thing about it for me,” said Wilkinson, “is that I don’t know the people I’m playing against. It’s a nice break to play rugby, for the simplicity of playing rugby.

Nick Evans

Harlequins stalwart Evans moved to London in 2008 and was a chief architect of on-field success of the club. He started for Harlequins in their 2011–12 Premiership final victory over Leicester Tigers and scored six penalties and one conversion.

Evans gave up on a potential shed load of caps for the All Blacks. New Zealand’s loss has repeatedly been The Stoop’s gain. Today he continues at the club in a coaching capacity, proving the worth of his big decision.

Rugby Player Overseas

George Smith

The versatile Australian flanker who has played 111 times for his country has applied his trade all over the world. In June 2010, Smith signed a one-year contract with French Top 14 club Toulon. His RC Toulon teammates included former Highlander and All Black prop Carl Hayman

Smith became the highest paid Australian rugby player by signing with Japanese club, Suntory Sungoliath, on a $3.3 million three-year deal. He then played for a short time in France with Stade Francais and Lyon before heading to England, joining Wasps in 2015. In his first season, Smith was voted Aviva Premiership Players Player of the year.

He then returned to his home country of Australia before another stint in Japan and then finished his career in the UK at Bristol Bears.

Geordan Murphy

Murphy made the short trip over from Ireland in the late 90’s. 316 games and a cabinet full of trophies later for his adopted Tigers are decent credentials. He is still there in a coaching capacity and his old team-mates still talk in superfluous tones about his natural ability; one of the best they had the joy to share a field with. Geordan Murphy has now been living in Leicester for over half his life, a true testament to the kind of commitment that says it all.

Ma’a Nonu

2 x world cup winner was one of the first marquee signings in Major League Rugby when he joined San Diego Legion for the 2020 season. This is his second overseas stint, having also played for Toulon in France.

Rugby Overseas Toulon

James Haskell

Haskell is one of very few English players to move abroad early in their careers, due to its negative impact on international selection. He moved to France in 2008 to play for Stade Francais and played nearly 50 times for the Parisian club. Haskell has also had seasons in the southern hemisphere playing for the Rams in Tokyo and the Highlanders in New Zealand. Commenting on these moves Haskell said “One of the opportunities these last two overseas moves have afforded me is the chance to work in different environments with different players”.

Felipe Contepomi

The Argentinian played in a period when there was no super rugby team in his home country and so playing overseas was his only real option. Contepomi moved to England in 2001 and began his European adventure in Bristol. Since then, he has had spells in Ireland with Leinster where he amounted over 100 caps. Most recently he was playing in France, firstly with Toulon and then finishing his career at Stade Francais. 

Rugby Leinster Ireland

These are just a few of the many players in the professional era that have made the move abroad to experience new cultures, improve their rugby (and maybe make a bit of extra cash). But playing rugby overseas isn’t just limited to professional athletes, anyone can use rugby as a springboard to achieving their travelling dreams. Find out more here…

Living the American Dream: Playing Rugby at a US College

If you have dreams and ambitions of attending an American university and would love to play rugby whilst you’re there then this post is for you! I will cover everything from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to scholarships with expert insight from Tony Brown, head coach at Vassar College and 2018 USA Rugby Collegiate Coach of the Year.

rugby
USA
Glendale

USA College Rugby

College sport in the USA is renowned for leading the way in terms of professionalism and funding. It is highly organised with universities and colleges having athletics departments with full time staff, including coaches, administrators all the way to trainers and physios. Sports that are sanctioned and funded by athletics departments are known as Varsity Sports. At the NCAA division 1 and 2 scholarships are only available to varsity sport players.

In the USA, rugby is primarily a club sport played on college campuses and on the whole does not have varsity status. This means that students pay fees and fundraise to cover most of the expenses. It is much like universities in the UK, Australia or Canada for example where students run the clubs with some administrative help. Therefore, the majority of rugby teams just don’t have the finances to offer scholarships. Nevertheless, more and more programmes are now being identified as varsity and receiving substantial funding from their schools. In particular, the women’s game is seeing a strong rise in popularity.

Scholarships

US universities can be expensive! Fees can range from $5000 per year at a community college, all the way up to $80,000 each year at a private university. The only way for a lot of people, particularly international students, to attend a US institution is through a scholarship of some form. A college sports scholarship allows many to play the sport they love at an elite level whilst earning a degree at the same time, sounds great, doesn’t it.

Below I will answer the most frequently asked questions I get when asked about rugby scholarships:

What Kind of Scholarships Are Out There?

Scholarships can range from anywhere up to a full ride scholarship, meaning that you can attend a US university for free! These are pretty rare, rugby scholarships also include tuition grants, fee waivers or in-state tuition rates for out-of-state students.

Which Colleges Offer Rugby Scholarships?

32 schools sponsored varsity rugby teams in 2019. This link will direct you to a page that outlines which university’s offered scholarships with links to the institutions official websites.

How Do I Get a Rugby Scholarship?

Like a lot of things, you can go on your own and make enquiries directly to coaches of colleges that you like the look of. Alternatively, you can let the experts help and guide you along the way. Agencies have extensive knowledge and contacts within the collegiate sports system with proven track records of getting potential athletes scholarships to universities. They will charge a fee but it is potentially worth the many thousands you could save with a scholarship. It really all depends on yours and your family’s financial situation. If you can afford to do it, agencies can be a great route. If you can’t quite afford to go down that route then it is most definitely still possible to get a scholarship so don’t be put off! 

What Level Do I Need To Be At?

From an athletic ability point of view, obviously college coaches are after the best possible athletes they can find. Having said that, rugby is still an emerging sport in the states and so players coming from the UK, Australia and NZ may be at a slightly higher level than homegrown talent. Ultimately, there is only one way to find out.

USA college
sports facilities

On the academic side, as a general rule of thumb NCAA div 1 schools have a greater focus on sport vs academics. You would be expected to train 6 times a week as well as games. However some Division one colleges, such as Yale and Harvard have a stronger focus on academics. Having a high enough grade point average (GPA) or SAT/ACT score is one of the most overlooked aspects of the recruitment process. Even if you’re the best player in your state or country, if you don’t have the right grades, you will simply not be NCAA eligible and won’t get into the university you desire. 

If you’re serious about a scholarship it’s vital that you do your own research and understand the nuances between the different divisions. An important question to ask yourself is ‘would I be happy here if I got injured and couldn’t participate in sport?’ Figure out your ideal academics-sport ratio and go from there. The earlier you can get prepared the better. If you dream of attending a US university and obtaining a highly sought after scholarship then it’s never too early to start preparing both physically and academically. 

USA college
university
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Opportunities to Play Rugby Without A Scholarship

Scholarships are obviously great if you can get one but they’re not the be all and end all. Being a club sport, the majority of college students playing rugby will not be on a scholarship. Obtaining a degree from a world class institution is what you go to university for and not having a scholarship doesn’t stop you playing sports. After all, the odds of getting a rugby scholarship aren’t in your favour unfortunately. But, don’t let not getting a sports scholarship stop you from reaping the undoubted benefits of playing rugby.

Research about other scholarships at the universities you’re looking at. Many institutions have very niche scholarships that no one knows about. I’d suggest contacting the financial aid department of each university and picking their brains about different financial avenues. 

The Benefits of Playing College Rugby

1. Future employers look for intangibles

A study by EY Women Athletes Business Network and espnW surveyed more than 400 female executives in five countries. They found that over half (52%) played a sport at college or university level. Sport instills the skills that employers want.

2. Life lessons

College athletes learn vital life skills such as leadership, confidence, time management and teamwork. There’s no better place to learn selflessness and leadership than on the pitch.

3. Relationships

You will make friends for life. Building and maintaining relationships is an invaluable skill that playing any sport fosters within you. The relationships you build with teammates, coaches and professors are the people that will help you find jobs, write references and even come to your wedding!

As well as these undoubted benefits that rugby can provide for your future there are also tonnes of benefits whilst you’re there. The sporting facilities at colleges in the USA are some of the best in the world. College sport is fiercely followed in the USA, you will even get fans at your rugby games but maybe not the 100,000 that watch the University of Michigan american football team at every home game!

USA rugby field

Beyond College Rugby

The recent introduction of Major League Rugby (MLR) now represents a clear pathway from college rugby into a professional set up. 2020 will see the first ever MLR draft, and represents a crucial step in the pathway to professional rugby.

“Collegiate rugby has a rich history in the United States with over 900 active teams across the country. The immense talent in our Colleges and Universities has shown itself over the past three seasons and is only poised to grow. We are truly excited about creating this pathway for the next generation of MLR players,” said MLR Commissioner, George Killebrew.

Future of College Rugby

The future of college rugby is bright, as a sport rugby is one of the largest and continually growing club sports in the USA. Particularly with women’s rugby which has been adopted as an emerging NCAA sport. An emerging sport is one that is recognised by the NCAA as a sport that is gaining popularity. It is intended to help universities provide more athletics opportunities for women and more sport-sponsorship options for the institutions, and also help that sport achieve NCAA championship status. Since then the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) has been set up to help more universities establish their varsity rugby programmes.

Now is the perfect time to start your American College adventure. Take a look at our USA location page, find a state or city that you like the look of and start finding colleges that appeal to you.

USA sports rugby
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Coach Profile: Tony Brown, Vassar College.

I recently had a chat with Tony Brown, the first full time collegiate rugby coach of both a men’s and a women’s program in the United States (1995 Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY). Tony provides insightful commentary and expertise into US college rugby below.

Prior to coming to the United States, Brown played in England for St. Luke’s College, Exeter, and then Wasps. Brown moved to the United States in 1984 and played for Northern Virginia (NOVA) and was selected to the 1985 Potomac Rugby Union (PRU) select side composed of players from the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Brown retired from playing in 1986 following injury.

From 1986-95 Brown coached the George Mason University men’s team in Fairfax, Virginia, and compiled a 110-52-6 overall record. Brown’s teams beat several eastern powers including Army, Navy, and Penn State as well as twice winning the St. Patrick’s Day Tournament and finishing runner-up at the Cherry Blossom, West Virginia University, and Commonwealth Cup tournaments. GMU finished the 1995 season ranked No. 3 in the Eastern Rugby Union (ERU).

For the past 25 years, since 1995, Brown has coached and guided the Vassar College Men and Women. The men have compiled 20 winning seasons with a further 3 at .500 and in that same period the women have put together 24 winning seasons. His teams have been on 15 overseas tours, won conference championships in 15s and 7s, won prestigious tournaments, been perennial playoff competitors and in 2018 the Vassar Women won the USA Rugby National Fall Division II Championship. The men’s overall record is 259-189-12 and the women’s record is 375-113-12.

harvard law school
usa college

What’s it Like Coaching at a US University?

Coaching a university or college team in the U.S. is an absolute joy. The students are eager to learn and for many it is a new sport so they are all ears! The students work ethic is exemplary and once the team culture is established rapid strides can be made. What students lack in experience and knowledge is compensated by their enthusiasm.

What Advice Would You Give to Someone Wanting to Play College Rugby?

A student wanting to play in the U.S. should immerse him or herself in the institution and embrace the academic opportunity and the culture of the institution while enjoying their rugby as a player.

What do You Foresee Happening With College Rugby in the Next Decade?

Once 40 universities/colleges choose to adopt Women’s Rugby as a varsity sport the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will most probably endorse it and there could be massive growth as other institutions decide this is a great opportunity. The impetus of 7s with the successes of the Men’s and Women’s National Teams and the advent of Major League Rugby will also continue to raise the profile of the sport. Men’s collegiate programs may not be elevated to Varsity level but will continue to thrive. The past 20 years has seen the creation of national championships in 15s and 7s, improved facilities and a growth in high school rugby. The seeds have been planted and the US has a population that can accommodate another major sport so with good funding and stewardship the future is very bright.

Cal Berkley
Rugby
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List of Top Men’s and Women’s College Rugby Teams

Division 1A MenNIRA Teams Women
California BerkleyArmy
Life UniversityHarvard
Sain’t Mary’sDartmouth
LindenwoodQuinnipiac
NavyNotre Dame College
Central WashingtonWest Chester
Arkansas StateBrown
KutztownQueens
BYUMount St. Marys
ArizonaAmerican International
DavenportSacred Heart
Notre Dame CollegeColby-Sawyer
ArmyBowdoin
Penn StateNorwich
UCLAUni New England
IndianaNew England College
Ohio State
Grand Canyon
St. Bonaventure
Colorado

Who Run The World? – The Rapid Rise of Women’s Rugby

Women’s rugby has been on the rise in recent years, the most recent World Rugby review in 2018 found that ‘in total 2.4 million women and girls are playing rugby at all levels, accounting for more than a quarter (26 per cent) of players globally and an increase in player numbers of 60 per cent since 2013’. 

The participation rates in both rugby sevens and the 15 a side game has close to 500,000 new players joining every year globally. According to World Rugby, women’s rugby is growing faster than men’s rugby and it is estimated that by 2026, 40% of the total number of rugby players will be female. 

While women’s rugby remains a predominantly amateur, minority sport — it is a burgeoning one played in over 80 countries. Support from governing bodies is rapidly increasing as they recognise that women’s rugby will help grow the game.

women's rugby
Byron Bay
Australia

Why Has Women’s Rugby Seen Such a Rise?

World Rugby have been driving in recent years to accelerate the global growth of women in rugby. In 2017 they set out an ambitious plan to double the number of registered players worldwide. In the first year of the plan the number of registered female players grew by an impressive 28 percent to 581,000. It is clear that world rugby is actively increasing funding and resources into women’s rugby and they are seeing the results.

The ‘Women In Rugby’ initiative from World Rugby with the campaign ‘try and stop us’ is a clear demonstration of World Rugby’s ambitions for women’s rugby. World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said that “by launching this unique brand identity and proposition we are demonstrating our unwavering commitment to growing participation and exposure for women’s rugby around the globe”. These sentiments were reiterated by World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont with his triumphant comments: “We firmly believe that the development of women in rugby is the single greatest opportunity for our sport to grow in the next decade’.

“We are demonstrating our unwavering commitment to growing participation and exposure for women’s rugby around the globe.”

SIR BILL BEAUMONT – WORLD RUGBY CHAIRMAN

Further success can be seen in increased diversity at the highest level with the introduction of 17 new female members to its council. Moreover, the next World Cup in 2021 to be hosted by New Zealand will be the first to not be gender assigned. All future World Cups, whether for men or women, will be known as the Rugby World Cup followed by the year designation.

The introduction of rugby sevens to the Olympics has undoubtedly been one of the key factors in the rise of women’s rugby. Sevens has led to a rise in popularity of the sport, particularly in emerging nations. With the Olympics comes investment from national governing bodies, rugby now has greater credibility on a global stage. It is estimated that £20 million was invested into rugby by national Olympic committees after sevens was announced as an Olympic sport. Sevens is a great introduction to rugby and provides a gateway to playing the standard 15 a side game. 

women's rugby
girls rugby

Where Can I Play Women’s Rugby?

Wherever you are in the world, you have a pretty good chance of finding a rugby club. With the sport being played in over 80 countries from all over the world. This number continues to rise as rugby becomes more recognised globally. Due to numbers and resources, the more common form of the game is 7’s, however more and more 15’s competitions are emerging in all nations.

Recognising the incredible growth in women’s rugby the Women’s Rugby Super Series has increased from four to five teams. These are some of the best women’s teams in the world and where rugby is most popular. Below I have outlined a number of the leading nations:

England

In England, the RFU now boasts professional programmes for both the sevens and 15s teams. This hopes to boost the development of the game at not only the top but also at the grassroots. They are looking to double the number of female participants by 2021, increase the number of women’s teams by more than 75% to 800 and host 400 active women’s clubs. The RFU also aims to increase the number of women referees, coaches and volunteers across the entire sport.

The women’s premiership secured £2.4 million of investment in 2017, the biggest financial contribution the women’s club game has seen. This represents the clear top down support the women’s game is receiving in England.

Australia

In Australia, Super Rugby W is the top level of women’s rugby. The teams replicate their male counterparts – NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds, Brumbies, Melbourne Rebels and Rugby WA. Fox Sports shows every Super W game and this has increased the marketability of women’s rugby in Australia. The league has successfully filled the gap between the club and international game.

New Zealand

The top level of women’s rugby in New Zealand is the Farah Palmer Cup, which runs in a provincial format much like the men’s Mitre 10 cup. At the international level, the Black Ferns lead the pack, having won 5 of the past 6 World Cups. 

North America

The USA and Canada both have women’s rugby programmes that are as (if not more) successful than the men’s teams. In college sport women’s rugby has been recognised by the main governing body the NCAA as an emerging sport. This means that more funding is available to women’s rugby and the number of scholarships given is rising every year.

women's rugby
girls rugby

A Final Word

Women’s rugby has come a long way from the days when women had to play in secret to avoid public pressure and societal issues. Thankfully as a society women’s role in sport has dramatically changed. But there is still a long way to go until women’s sport is put on a level playing field with their male counterparts. As a rugby player and fan I am proud that World Rugby is recognising the imperative role that women will play in the growth of the sport we love.

Recently, I spoke to Alex and Tamara who both hail from England but have found a love for rugby on the other side of the world in Byron Bay on Australia’s east coast.

It is thanks to strong and empowering women like Tamara and Alex, whose stories you can read about below, that are encouraging more and more women and girls in their local areas to play rugby.

 Read Alex and Tamara’s experiences of playing rugby in Australia and the rise of women’s rugby.

Alex

Byron Bay Bullets


Tamara

Byron Bay Bullets

Play Rugby Overseas

3 Steps to Playing Rugby Overseas

Are you interested in playing rugby overseas but struggling with where to start? This article will talk you through the steps you need to take to make your dream a reality, and will touch on my own personal experience after moving overseas from London to play rugby in Byron Bay, Australia.

3 steps to playing rugby abroad

 

Step 1: Decide Where to Go 

Most commonly players travel to play rugby overseas in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. These are the countries where you will find most clubs actively seeking players to join them. They offer opportunities for all levels from professional to amateur, making them highly sought after places to play rugby. Players can also try other big rugby playing nations such as South Africa and France. 

Some emerging countries on the rugby scene can also offer an unforgettable experience such as Japan, the USA and other European countries. Pretty much every country that plays rugby will have opportunities available if you look hard enough. Whether you are heading on a working holiday, to a new job abroad, or anything in between – there are rugby playing opportunities all over the world.

If you are hoping to get paid to play while you are abroad it is much more common in the UK and Europe for clubs to offer their rugby players monetary packages – so I would recommend starting your search there. Unfortunately it is much harder in Australia and New Zealand. 

Players looking to develop their game in the best leagues in Australia and New Zealand should head for the major cities, in particular Sydney and Brisbane. However, if you’re after a more rounded rugby experience, then rural areas and smaller communities can be a great fit.  

Step 2: Find a Rugby Club

Speak to the experts – they know what they’re doing. Agencies create mutually beneficial relationships between players and overseas rugby clubs. Honing in on what both the club and player require makes the experience extremely straightforward. It saves you time aimlessly searching for rugby clubs on the internet, connecting you instantly with teams actively recruiting players abroad. 

Make sure you know what kind of package you are after. For the right player, some rugby clubs may offer a retainer or match fees. Others will help cover the costs of flights and visas or even just assistance finding a job and accommodation. But, it’s not all about the money, the experience is invaluable and the networking opportunities at clubs can be helpful both while you’re there and in the future. Be clear with what you want when speaking with clubs, have honest conversations and don’t sell yourself short.

How to find a rugby club overseas

Once you’ve found a club or clubs you’re interested in they will more often than not ask for some video footage of you playing rugby. Being on the other side of the world, coaches can’t just come and watch you play, so the best way to show off your skills is through a highlights reel. In the past, I have used iMovie which is a great free video editing software found on apple devices. If your club or school uses Hudl they also have an easy to use function, helping you clip together and edit your video. Try to include the best aspects of your game across a whole season, not just from a couple of games. A lot of players make the mistake of only including tries and mammoth runs. Make no mistake these are important and an integral part of your attacking ability, but this doesn’t give the coaches a well rounded view of your rugby ability. You need to show prospective clubs that you’re not a one trick pony and can produce performances consistently. Think about what coaches over your playing career have always highlighted as important aspects of the game and include these within 3-5mins of footage. Player specific skills obviously also play an important part of rugby, for example lineout throwing for a hooker and box kicking for a scrum half.     

Step 3: Arrange Your Visa & Flights

You’ll need a visa for the majority of overseas countries you may want to play in, especially if you want to work alongside playing rugby. On the whole, visas are quick, easy to acquire and allow you to work and stay for 12-24 months. Keep in mind if you’re heading to Australia that you’ll need to do 3 months of regional farm work if you want to stay for longer than a year. So don’t leave it too late because I guarantee you won’t want to leave after playing a season down under. 

For a lot of these countries you can only get a visa once so make sure you’re prepared to make the most of it. Plan what you want to do and make sure you don’t leave with any regrets. 

You’re definitely going to need a little bit of money in the bank to support yourself and have to prove this to immigration via bank statements when applying for your visa. Obviously, the cost of flights will need to be covered as well and they aren’t cheap when you’re travelling abroad over such a long distance. If you’re serious about making the move then you’d better start saving!

What’s it like?

After moving from my hometown of London to spend the past two years playing rugby abroad in Australia, I can confidently say that it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. The opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and head to the other side of the world on my own was one that I have relished. 

What's it like to play rugby overseas?

In my first year in Australia I played for Byron Bay, a small surfing town on the East Coast. The rugby club is notorious for welcoming travellers and backpackers from all over the world. I got to play alongside both Aussies and other overseas players from Northern Ireland to New Zealand, helping me to develop my rugby. The post match rugby culture is synonymous all over the world and is one of the best aspects of playing the sport in my opinion. The songs you sing and games you play don’t differ very much whether you’re on the south coast of England or the shores of Sydney.     

Before moving overseas to Australia, living in the city was all I had ever known. In Byron Bay, the small beach town / laid back vibe was a totally different experience for me. It didn’t take long for me to embrace my new lifestyle – walking around in boardies (or budgies) and thongs is the new me!  

Playing in a new country opens your eyes to different styles of rugby and different coaching methods. Having moved from the UK to Australia, I definitely noticed the desire to keep the ball in hand a lot more. I certainly wasn’t box kicking as much as I’m used to! Learning from players and coaches from across the globe has definitely improved my game, it has given me the confidence to step up to a higher level and play in the Brisbane Premier competition this year. 

Play rugby union Byron Bay

As cliche as it might sound, meeting new people and making friends for life is the best thing about playing rugby overseas. Meeting like minded people bound by a common goal allows you to quickly create meaningful friendships. In particular with other international players that are just settling into their new home. I have found that the local players and fans appreciate the sacrifices you make to come and play for their rugby club. You definitely feel special and valued as an overseas player which was something that I found really comforting.

What you need?

Most of all you need an open mind, be open to experiencing new places, people and lifestyles. Travelling and living overseas in a new country is a great way to broaden your horizons as a person but also as a rugby player.