Managing the transition of life after rugby is a daunting prospect, All Black legend Richie McCaw told World Rugby, the website of the sport's governing body, this week in a revealing video about how players best cope with retirement, which was later posted to the All Blacks' homepage.
McCaw, who is tipped to hang up his boots after the World Cup this year, admitted he's sick and tired of people telling him to have a game plan.
"I get a little bit frustrated when people say, 'You've got to say what you're going to do', or 'have something sorted for when you're done'. But that could be in two years, five years, 10 years, you know. So you sit there and it is actually quite a daunting thing."
A survey three years ago among former rugby players found that 48 per cent weren't in control of their retirement.
McCaw blames a lack of career education, and he credits a personal development programme established between the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Rugby Players Association, designed to help rugby players establish credentials beyond the turf, as being beneficial.
"The biggest thing I see, and this is where the development programme has been great," McCaw said, "is that it can actually open up some options so that you know, when that time comes, for whatever reason, whether unfortunately through the odd injury or whatever, that you've got the right people to talk to or you've done some things that actually open a door for you.
"I think it's a bit of an excuse to say, 'Well, I'm leaving the study or schoolwork aside to focus on rugby'. I think you can do both."
He added: "I think the people who are able to do both, to manage time, and get that balance right, end up being a better rugby player in the long run."
The 34-year-old captain of the reigning world champions says balance is needed.
"It's easy to get locked into rugby, rugby, rugby. It's an important part of your life and you put a lot of energy into it.
"But it's opened my eyes to realise that getting your life into some sort of balance and an understanding of the big picture, and where rugby sits, has been valuable to me."
No word, though, on whether that "balance" includes getting married and starting a family with long-term girlfriend and athlete Gemma Flynn. The proposal has been evidently daunting.
Star whines about film 'misery'
Hollywood action star Dominic Purcell jetted out of Auckland yesterday morning and back to the glamour of La-La-land after an arduous six-week film shoot on Abandoned, a TVNZ two-part telemovie based on the Rose Noelle story and the crew's survival.
The drama will screen on TV One later this year as part of the Sunday Theatre programme.
The last day of filming was Monday, with the most difficult waterlogged scenes taking place in Tutukaka over several days on a replica of the catamaran Rose Noelle. Filming ran up to 14 hours a day on the boat, leaving the actors tired, wet and frustrated.
Not that they complained about it.
"So you wanna be in the movies? It ain't glamour folks," Purcell moaned on social media with behind-the-scenes pics from the shoot.
"On set. Survival story. Four men lost at sea and survived! Wet all day long. Misery!"
Spare a thought for the maritime survivors who spent a harrowing 119 days cast adrift before landing on Great Barrier, and meeting a great deal of scepticism about the veracity of their story.
Rove's support for JC
Embattled broadcaster John Campbell, who is struggling for survival, has friends in the oddest of places.
Pint-sized Aussie TV personality Rove McManus - actually a longstanding JC supporter, to be fair - has come out on Twitter threatening to "knock some sense" into TV3 like the proverbial punching bag. Mark Jennings will be quivering in his Nomads, I'm sure.
Worse, the Act Party has jumped on Campbell's cause this week, announcing it's backing the Grey Lynn liberal.
Is it recruiting him for membership?
Campbell will be little amused, however, at comments made by Prime Minister John Key, who declared yesterday he has little sympathy for a programme on a private station that needs to net commercial returns for shareholders.
Actors hit new heights
In a case of art imitating life, actors Dean O'Gorman and Andrew Munro have flown in to Kathmandu, Nepal for an authentic two-week shoot on the TV drama series Hillary, a biopic about the life of Sir Ed.
Congrats to former Shortland Street star Ido Drent and his wife Mandy who welcomed a son last week, who they have named Bastion Dirk.