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The wonderful world of a rugby physio
Around the Academy:

Richard Mack treats an injured London Irish player
Richard works closely with the London Irish players
Think you have what it takes to get rugby players back to full fitness from serious injury?

Richard Mack, physiotherapist for Zurich Premiership side London Irish offers BBC Sport Academy a few tips to get to the top.

How did you get into the job?

I never intended on becoming a physiotherapist, I used to work in catering. But after I got injured playing rugby my interest grew.

I thought, "I could do this", so I quit my job, sold my house and headed down to London to study Physiotherapy at the University of East London.

After I qualified, I got involved with London Irish.

Justin Bishop and Michael Horak celebrate a try
Richard has been a big part of Irish's success

What qualifications do you need?

Studying physiotherapy at University is a tough course to get onto, so you need to have good GCSE and A-Level results.

There is plenty of studying to do, so expect lots of homework.

Physiotherapy is a hands-on job, so you need lots of practical experience.

You go on four to five week placements at hospitals and learn from the experts.

What is an average day in the London Irish physiotherapy room like?

We usually start around eight in the morning and prepare the players for the morning training session.

The injured players have to stay with me, even though they don't want to.

In the afternoon I run an injury clinic and treat the players according to their injuries.

This can go on as late as eight in the evening, so it can be a very long day.

How to get involved
Match preparation

Richard Mack factfile
Job: Physiotherapist for London Irish and England under-21s
Age: 33
Education: Bsc (Hons) Physiotherapy, University of East London
Hobbies: Watching rugby, spending time with my partner

What does a physiotherapist do?
Nurse injured players back to fitness
Devise fitness exercises for injured players
Treat injured players on match days

:: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
:: University physiotherapy courses
:: London Irish

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