“Some of my fondest memories were made at SGS. I always felt like I had a value at the school and was encouraged to pursue my ambitions both academically and non academically.”
Jake left the school in 2011 to pursue a career as a professional rugby player. He is currently training as a solicitor having recently finished his professional rugby career with Nottingham RUFC.
How do you feel SGS helped to shape the person you are today?
SGS made a huge contribution to who I am today. I developed my social skills greatly, in a school that allowed you to be recognised as an individual rather than as a number. It taught me to have a great work ethic, that has helped me to complete both my A-levels and my degree whilst being a professional rugby player. SGS gave me foundations that without, I don’t believe I’d have achieved what I have done.
What was your experience at SGS like?
Some of my fondest memories were made at SGS. I always felt like I had a value at the school and was encouraged to pursue my ambitions both academically and non-academically. My friends from school are still my friends to this day and I owe a lot to the school to who I am today.
Were there any teachers who inspired you or made a particular impression on you?
Lee Harwood was always at the forefront of my time at SGS. He never over-indulged my love for rugby and instead encouraged me to compete and learn other sporting disciplines, which developed my overall ability and kept me grounded. He also pushed my work ethic, something that Lee Thomas also instilled in me greatly and I’d like to think I’ve continued to this day.
What did you do after SGS?
I left SGS at 16 to join Leicester Tigers Academy and do my A-levels at Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College. This meant 7 a.m. gym followed by the bus to college, and back to training for 5/6, five days of the week. I spent the next 5 years at Leicester moving into the first team at 19 where I was also selected to represent England U20 at the U20 6 Nations Championship. After Leicester I went to Birmingham Moseley In National 1, where I decided to apply to university as I’d had time to consider what I wanted to do when I finish rugby. study law at Nottingham Trent University, allowing me to move to Nottingham RUFC in the Championship. I have spent the last 3 years finishing my degree and have now graduated from university, also resigning with Nottingham RUFC, with an aim to become a qualified solicitor in the near future.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My rugby highlights have been representing England U20 against Italy and Wales and making it to the final of the JP Morgan 7s tournament with Leicester at The Rec in Bath, having previously never won a game before. Outside of rugby, graduating has been one of my highlights, managing to balance a professional rugby career and finish my degree amidst corona, is something I’m very proud of.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to follow a similar path to you?
Firstly, focus on what you’re good at, it’s your USP, so make it as good as it can and be confident about it. Secondly, enjoy yourself, because it is hard, but if you enjoy it, it’ll be a lot easier. don’t be embarrassed or scared to try things: 100% of the things you don’t try end in failure!
What are your ambitions for the future?
I’d always like to go back up to the premiership, but having now spent time in all of the top three English divisions, realise this is easier said than done. Having now graduated, I aim to qualify as a solicitor in the near future, hopefully obtaining a training contract from a firm in the magic circle or other successful firms.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like to relax, I play golf (poorly!) but I still enjoy it. I also enjoy gaming, but I’m an outdoorsy person so I take any chance I get to play any another sports or be outside.