SAINTS players from both ends of the age spectrum are looking to bank qualifications to fall back on when their rugby careers end after signing up for a degree course in PE and Sports Science based at Carmel College.

Kyle Amor, Mark Percival, Jack Ashworth, Aaron Smith and Danny Richardson are among those currently going through a preparation course to get them ready for the degree.

But with less than a month to go before the start they still need a couple of more recruits to make sure the degree course goes ahead.

Amor, 32, has been one of the biggest advocates of further learning, accepting that the degree course dovetails with his final years in the game.

He said: "Sometimes it is very hard when you are playing to think about life after rugby but it goes in the blink of an eye and players have to prepare for life after it. Some ex-players do struggle.

"For me the timing is right now - and I would be graduating just as my playing career comes to an end.

"It is a good qualification to have - if I were to stay in the game or maybe open the door, with a further qualification, to teaching PE."

For scrum half Richardson, much of his motivation for signing up has come from the jolt he has had this season, with the 2018 Dream Team number seven losing his regular first team spot to Theo Fages.

The 23-year-old Widnesian said: "After the year I have had it kind of made me realise that rugby can be taken away from you, through selection or injury.

"It is a blessing that it has happened because I do need something to fall back on when I eventually do stop playing, and this gave me the kick up the backside to get it done.

"This course came up and from the topics we are going to be studying to the days that we will be doing it it just seemed to be a perfect fit.

"And if we can manage to complete it we will end up with a degree at the end of it.

"It is a no brainer for me, and it gives me a different focus outside of rugby."

He admitted that he never gone short of encouragement from the club and his parents when it came to furthering his education, but understandably had his focus has been on the game.

"You want to focus on your rugby as your number one, you want to make sure you get in the team and having playing Super League as your aim.

"The cub do remind us and push us to think beyond rugby and are always coming up with ideas.

"It is important because it doesn't last forever.

"I have realised this, so to has Perc and Az Smith, and they have done the same.

"This is a perfect for us."

The BSc course in Physical Education and Sports science will be taught by Liverpool Hope University lecturers, but delivered at Carmel college at Carmel College every Tuesday evening between 6pm and 9pm, plus one online session per week.

For it to go ahead they need to reach a minimum of 12 students with applicants needing 96 UCAS points, although there is another route via alternative assessment - by offering free HE prep courses to those who have not studied A levels.

Carmen Nunez, Dean of HE at Carmel College, expects the players to slot in well into further education and believes they will provide their own network to support each other.

"The players have done so much but they don't realise how much they have done.

"In their eyes their lives have just been rugby but if you break it down they have done lots of different things and have transferable skills to bring to the programme.

"We know that they are going to be disciplined, have resilience, hard working with great time management skills.

"They have the skills already to make good HE student.

"As for the course itself it is great if want to go into teaching, but sports science also lends itself to personal training, conditioning, strength work and nutrition," she said.

The fees are reduced to £6,165 and all will be able to apply for a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loans.

Contact: for details on how to apply.