After a string of injuries, Hawke's Bay-born Sam McNicol decided to hang up his professional football boots and take on a new role.
The 26-year-old fullback is passionate about educating up-and-coming players on and off the field.
McNicol said the opportunity to take up the role was something he couldn't turn down.
"I didn't think twice about it because I really enjoy working with that age group," he said.
As St John's College's new rugby institute coach, McNicol is in charge of the Year 9 and 10 players.
The St John's College alumni believe you see the most gains in developing a rugby player near that early teen to the mid-teen stage.
Alongside his new coaching role, McNicol is also a Hawke's Bay Rugby Union secondary schools rugby development officer.
"Being able to give back in this area is awesome, " said McNicol, who intends to "unlock a few capabilities to perform and potentially realise their dreams".
The young coach thinks a lot of his development as a rugby player happened during secondary school.
"That's probably where I made the most improvements to then move on to a professional level."
He said the rugby programme at St John's College is in good stead.
McNicol's "goal is for these boys once they finish through the Under-15s and institute grades is to be capable and really promising young First XV players who can represent the school well".
However, the ex Super Rugby player believes his students' attitude off the field is just as crucial to achieving success on the field.
"It's about being really diligent, having a good work ethic, an open mind, and being willing to listen, take constructive criticism and move forward with it," McNicol said.
The new rugby institute coach made his Super Rugby debut as a 19-year-old for the Hurricanes against the Chiefs.
And then the fullback joined the Chiefs playing in a winning match against Wales.
Acting principal Willy Kirsten said McNicol was an excellent addition to the school's rugby foundation.
The school is delighted to have McNicol on board.
"He has a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will no doubt aid in our boys' development and inspire them both on and off the field," Kirsten said.