Professional Rugby Player Orlando Stott

On a visit to the south of France, a member of Little Wing grabbed the chance to interview a professional rugby player who is living a dream which he has been chasing since the age of 10. Orlando Stott is now 25 years old and has been playing professional rugby for 2 years now.Since a young age Orlando and his family have always loved sports and encouraged each other to play. Growing up, I suppose most of us do dabble in a bit of activity here and there but for many the novelty of it will fade away in time and be taken over by responsibilities of work and such. Orlando, however, has broken the typical mould and continued to play sports and actually has managed to make a good career out of it so far.

Orlando grew up in a small village in the south of France called, Romaneche-Thorins. Starting to play rugby in the youngest team at school, he quickly realised how good he was after receiving praise from his coach and teammates. From this young age, he watched the professionals play on television and could only dream that one day he would play for the big teams. He has made this dream come true. Achieving his dream of being a rugby player, however, has not come without persistence, ambition and confidence on his part.

Going into playing professional sport is a very highly sought after but a very fragile career. One has to ponder over the question of how long it will last and what will happen afterwards should it fall through. Orlando decided to prepare himself for the worst before even starting his rugby career, which in many minds was a very wise decision. He decided to go to University in Bristol, England and get a degree so that he would be in good stead for a job should he ever have to stop rugby. While he was there he proudly continued playing rugby at a good level, for the Dings Crusaders in Bristol.

In the process of going to university, sadly his opportunity at playing professional rugby was delayed. When asked whether he regrets taking those four years out to do a degree he replied, “yes and no, I’m so glad that I have a degree to fall back on but will never know where I could be now if I had gone straight to playing rugby after school”.

After completing his degree, Orlando decided to pursue a career in rugby, he cleverly discovered that in France there is a lot more money circling around for players than there is in England. So at the despair of many of his english friends, Orlando made the move to France. Currently, he is a starting winger/fullback for Valence D’Agen, a federal 1 rugby team based in the south of France. In the coming years he hopes to achieve a higher rank in rugby and aspires to keep climbing higher on the rugby ladder whether it be in France or in England.

When his time eventually comes to leave the sport behind, Orlando will then happily use his degree to become a businessman of sorts and will work hard at whatever gets thrown his way, all the while knowing that he went for it and enjoyed a great few years on the pitch, under the flood lights.

For now, Orlando is continuing to follow his dream of playing rugby as he enjoys it more than anything in the world, and if you can make a living doing something you love? It would be a crime not to.

Written, Filmed and Photographed by: Hana Difrawy

View some footage here of Orlando Stott in action!



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