RUGBY stars have set themselves a new goal to enhance their playing careers and secure their futures.

St Helens rugby league players Jake Spedding, 21, and Ben Morris, 20, have enrolled on the HNC sport and exercise science course at Warrington & Vale Royal College.

Centre Jake, who has been playing for the team since he was 15, said: “I am really enjoying the course so far. I can relate a lot of the things I am learning, back to what we are doing in our training sessions at Saints.”

The sport and exercise science courses are designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding underpinning a range of sport science disciplines.

This includes training and fitness, sports physiology and injury, psychology and sports performance.

The course also develops students’ research, personal and professional skills.

Widnes Vikings co-captain Joe Mellor is studying on the HND course.

Sports lecturer Craig Atherton, lecturer said: “The sport and exercise science course is an exciting programme for both those already working within the industry and those looking to enter it.

"For players like Joe, Ben and Jake, the course will prove invaluable both during the rest of their playing career, and after it too.

“We’re really proud of our sporting links at the college and the fact that we have professional athletes completing the course proves that we have both the industry experience and knowledge to help them succeed.”

Professional rugby players from across the north west have signed up.

Scrum half Joe, 27, said: “The course is fantastic – I have definitely learned a lot about the psychology of rugby and sport in general, that I am able to take away and apply to my playing career.

"What I am learning will also play a massive part in my future and will help me to continue working in sport once my playing days are over.

“This is a two year course but after that I want to go off to university.

"I still don’t know completely what I want to do but I know that the course will help me with whatever I decide.”

Previous students include former Wolves player and New Zealand captain Roy Asotasi.

For more information about courses visit