Former Rhino Feather welcomes England squad

Former Leeds Rhinos forward Chris Feather welcomed the England Nines squad into his impressive Sydney gym this week and the prop said he enjoyed catching up with some old faces.

Feather has been in Australia for over a decade now having called time on his Rugby League career and he has created a successful business with his 98 Riley Street gym.

He explained how it came about, “I first moved over here in 2010 and for the first two years was lucky enough to work on five films with Russell Crowe as his personal trainer. That took me back here to England and France, we did one in New Orleans, Iceland and New York and then ‘Superman’ in Australia,” the ex-barnstorming prop recalls.

“It was all completely random. I’d finished at Cas and, although I’d had a truly great time in the game, my body had had enough and the future was uncertain.

“Then Julien Rinaldi rang me and said why don’t you come and play in France for a season, it’ll be more relaxed, we’ll just train a couple of nights a week, and it seemed a perfect opportunity.

“I sold up a couple of places here, had a clear out that I needed at the time and had an awesome time there, I really enjoyed it.”

Whilst that eased his transition out of the sport, the next phone call defined where he is now. “Sam Burgess rang and invited me over to his place for a holiday. It was nothing major but I really liked it out there and got a couple of jobs to earn some cash.

“I did a milk round and played some rugby in a local competition and then I got another random call, this time from Russell asking if I fancied being his bodyguard for going on ‘Oprah’. I told him I’d never done anything like that before but was up for it and it went from there.

“I got involved with a company in Utah called Jim Jones who were training the cast for a movie called ‘The 300’ and that led to me taking on the contract to train Russell for his next projects.

“He had bought a building in the middle of Sydney and set up a gym and rented it to movie companies to get actors fit when they were filming out there.

“It was only about 150sq metres then, and with little chance of getting a visa as a retired sportsman, I offered initially to manage it and look to set up as a personal trainer.

“After a while I put a business plan together to take it over and sponsor myself and it’s worked out, I’ve brought it off him and taken over the ground floor and work with a number of celebrities either there or on set.”

His Leeds heritage number certificate hangs proudly in his gym

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