Max Northcote-Green is enjoying a new lease of life at London Irish, the Dulwich born flanker having recently graduated with a degree in Leadership Management.
Completing the course alongside Conor Gilsenan and former teammate George Robson, the degree was funded by the RPA who are advocates of preparing players for life after rugby.
Northcote-Green’s graduation came at a time when he burst back onto the scene following a lengthy injury lay-off as he looks to take his game to the next level with Irish.
“I was really frustrated to get the injury not long after I’d arrived at the club last season and it was an unfortunate setback for me,” said the 23-year-old, who scored two tries on his return from injury against former club Bath in the Anglo-Welsh Cup back in November.
“I had to turn my injury from being a negative into a positive and I worked extremely hard on becoming a better athlete in terms of improving my strength and speed.
“While I was getting myself back to full fitness, I was completing my degree with Conor and George. It was nice to do the degree with those guys as we were very supportive of one another and it really helped me focus on getting my head down and getting the grades.
“The RPA have also been superb, and I wouldn’t have been able to do the degree without their fantastic support.
“Hopefully my degree can open a few doors when I hang up my boots, but I have many years ahead of me playing rugby and I’ll be working hard to ensure that I make the most of my time here at London Irish.
“My aim is to go into marketing and advertising once my playing career is over. Playing rugby is a great job, but it doesn’t last forever and it’s a very short time in your life so it’s important to be prepared for life after rugby. You have to be prepared for when it’s over and hopefully the degree will give me the platform to venture into other things.”
Committed to his studies off the field, the 6ft 3” back row has certainly shown his commitment on the field with a string of blistering displays since his return from injury.
His clinical finishing was evident from the moment he pulled on the green jersey last season, and his potency with ball in hand has come to the fore again in recent months with a series of defence-splitting carries.
“I guess that I’ve just found myself in the right place at the right time and I’ve had the easy job of finishing off the moves on the back of the hard work undertaken by the other guys,” Northcote-Green said in typically modest fashion.
“It’s always nice to get on the scoresheet, but the most important thing is that we keep improving as a team and secure wins on the pitch.”
You can read the full interview in this Saturday’s match day programme, The Exile when London Irish welcome Wasps to the Madejski Stadium in the Anglo-Welsh Cup (kick-off 3pm).
Under 13s tickets are just £1 throughout the stadium with adults from £15 from www.lidirect.co.uk or by calling 0118 968 1016 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to noon).