Blair Cowan: London Irish and Scotland again row completes barber qualification
For skilled rugby gamers, planning for all times after retirement could be difficult.
However one Scotland worldwide has already taken lively steps in the direction of his post-playing profession by qualifying as a barber.
Blair Cowan, a towering again row for London Irish recognised for his personal set of flowing darkish locks, has executed simply that and his team-mates are serving to guarantee he has loads of alternatives to observe.
And as an alternative of his traditional position of attempting to wrestle the ball from opposition gamers, it is now snip, snip as an alternative of strip, strip.
The altering room on the membership’s Sunbury coaching floor is repeatedly reworked into Blair’s personal barber store.
As a rule, it is going to be hair clippings in addition to mud from boots swept up off the ground on the finish of a day.
“Rugby involves an finish and also you get to an age and stage in your profession the place you critically take into consideration what you wish to do,” Cowan advised BBC Sport.
“I experimented with a couple of issues and did a couple of programs. However I received chatting to my barber at his store in Surbiton at some point and I loved seeing his way of life and the craft of it.
“I requested about get into it and mainly swept the flooring for a day for him to get a really feel for the commerce.”
Cowan took that curiosity and put it right into a recently-completed NVQ diploma from the London Faculty of Barbering.
Now the New Zealand-born 32-year-old is simply as more likely to carry his scissors and clippers on away journeys as he’s his boots and enjoying equipment.
Workforce-mates could be discovered queuing up after coaching classes for the possibility to go #InTheChairWithBlair, with Cowan sharing a few of his work on Instagram under the alias Rough Gents Barber.
“I’ve sort of bribed a variety of them into it,” he joked. “I say, ‘in the event you put £10 into the pot after having your haircut, it goes into our social fund’.
“The boys at this membership love a social and I want the observe slicing hair, so it really works out hand-in-hand.
“However, I find it irresistible as a result of it is the possibility to get the boys in exterior of rugby, hearken to some nice tales, share a little bit of gossip and actually get to know folks in down time on a distinct stage.
“Some folks do not go for the chat, they simply wish to sit in silence and have their hair minimize and that is cool. However others simply unload all the pieces of their lives whereas within the chair and I am pleased to pay attention.”
The excellent news for Cowan is he’s already getting repeat customized.
“I’ve received fairly a couple of within the squad who’ve been again now for a second or third minimize,” he mentioned. “I do not know if that is as a result of it is low-cost, however the suggestions’s been good too.
“Though I am certified, you are still studying on this business and it’s important to try to sustain with the types and being sharp with the instruments.
“If something, my brothers and cousins again in Wellington have in all probability been my harshest critics.”
A profession as a barber could be catching on amongst rugby gamers with one in every of Cowan’s former team-mates, London Scottish scrum-half Ed Hoadley, additionally not too long ago certified.
“It is undoubtedly one thing I can see myself doing after enjoying,” he mentioned. “Possibly not instantly, however actually as soon as I’ve set myself up correctly and located my ft again dwelling.
“The possibility for a pleasant chilled way of life by the seaside someplace will hopefully permit me to open a pleasant little espresso store and barbers. Get some boys in and chew the fats, play some music and put your ft up.
“We have got so many assets now within the recreation to permit us to set ourselves up for retirement.
“However, the principle factor is to seek out one thing you are excited by, that fits your character and can inspire you to get off the bed every morning after rugby’s executed.”
Extra instantly, Cowan is not going to solely be hoping to sharpen his expertise with the scissors, but in addition assist present Championship leaders Irish minimize down the remainder of the competitors and safe promotion again to the Premiership.