Welsh international rugby league star Rhodri Lloyd is hoping to inspire the next generation by training to be a teacher.
Former Ysgol Gyfan Cwm Rhymni pupil Lloyd, 25, has graduated from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Having completing a degree in sports studies, Lloyd will begin a one-year teacher training course in September.
Lloyd, who is from Penpedairheol, said: “I’ve always liked coaching alongside playing and I wanted to explore this interest further. As part of my studies at UCLan I’ve taken work placements in several schools and now want to become a PE teacher. Being a professional sports person involves many highs and lows and I feel I have a lot of experience to share with the next generation.”
The former Wigan Warriors, London Broncos and Widnes Vikings back-row centre currently plays for and captains Manchester-based Swinton Lions.
In 2010, Lloyd became the youngest player to play for the Wales senior side when he made his debut against Italy, aged just 17.
After juggling a full-time degree with playing commitments, he added: “I’ve had an amazing career so far and representing Wales in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup has got to be one of the highlights, even though I had to Skype my university tutors to make sure the work didn’t pile up. I’ve had to be very disciplined to manage playing with studying, but it’s been worth it.”
Lloyd originally moved to the north west of England in 2012 when he joined Wigan Warriors.
He said: “It was daunting moving so far away from home when I was only 17 but I’ve always been made to feel very welcome in Wigan and now my girlfriend Bethan has also settled up here with me.
“Obviously rugby in Wales is predominately union but I think representing my country in any code is an absolute honour and wearing the three feathers on your chest is always a source of pride for any Welsh person.”
This summer, the former-Penallta RFC man will be co-hosting a summer camp for youngsters at Swinton Lions.
He said: “We want kids to have fun and feel inspired to enjoy rugby league. It’s all about opening the club up to a younger audience of fans and making the club very much part of the local community.”
Lloyd will begin his teacher training course at Manchester Metropolitan University in September and will be initially based at a high school in Lancashire.