Teacher and former pupil kick off careers.
A Solihull School teacher and one of his former pupils are to team up on the rugby field as professional players with a top Midland club.
Charley Thomas, 25, and Louis Roach, 18, have both been awarded playing contracts by Moseley, the rugby union Championship side that plays at Billesley Common in Birmingham Charley has been selected as a flanker and Louis as a wing player and full back for the famous club, which reached the final of the John Player Cup three times in the 1970s and 1980s.
Both players were educated at Solihull, an independent coeducational school in Warwick Road, where Charley is now PE and Games Coordinator in the Junior School.Louis, who completed his A-Levels this summer, was taught by Charley in the Sixth Form before the two met again in highly competitive trials to join the club.
A Solihull pupil from the age of 11, Charley played for the school’s First XV for three years before leaving in 2007 to join Worcester Rugby Academy. He was one of the first to receive a new three-year contract to study Sports Science at the University of Worcester and play rugby for Worcester. Solihull awarded Charley a work placement as part of his course – and later a teaching placement to complete his graduate teacher training programme in PE.
He said: “Solihull has been great to me both in helping in my development and in enabling me to pursue a professional rugby career while continuing to teach. I’m delighted that both Louis and I have joined Moseley. Having helped Louis to success last year with the School’s First XV, it’s great to now be playing alongside him in the same team and see his development continue. Training against each other was certainly a change of scenery!”
Louis joined Solihull Junior School in 2003 at the age of seven and played B team rugby along with other sports until concentrating his energies on rugby from the age of 15. He came of age playing for the Midlands Under-16s and left Solihull at 18 with plans to play academy rugby in New Zealand for a season before studying Sports Science at university.
Louis said: “I hadn’t played rugby for nearly all last season because of injury but Dan Protherough, a former Moseley player who helped to coach at Solihull, persuaded the club to let me train with the first team on a trial basis after seeing me play sevens at the very end of the school season – and the opportunity to join Moseley arose from there.
“I’m thrilled to have been awarded a contract – and as the club’s youngest player I’m currently aiming to put on a bit more weight to get into squad contention.”