Sale Sharks academy scrum-half delivered a signed shirt to teachers at Liverpool College
The 18-year-old made his Sharks debut in November just six months after leaving school
Sale Sharks star Nye Thomas delivered the perfect early Christmas present to the teachers who helped launch his rugby career as he dropped off a signed shirt at his former school.
Academy scrum-half Nye completed his studies at Liverpool College in the summer and just six months later (Nov 6) made his Gallagher Premiership debut at the AJ Bell Stadium against Northampton Saints.
The 18-year-old had been a stand-out player as he rose through the age groups at Liverpool College and his local rugby club, Sefton RUFC.
And after establishing himself in the Sharks first-team set up, Nye wanted to go back and thank the teachers who played a key role in his early development – in particular PE teacher and Head of Rugby Mr Heeley, and Head of Sixth Form Mr Brady.
Nye said: “It was really surreal to go back so soon after leaving. I never expected to make my debut for Sharks so soon – it’s all happened really quickly.
“It was great to see some of the lads that I played with and other younger lads too. Hopefully I can inspire them in the same way that I was inspired by my teachers.
“Mr Heeley and our Head of Sixth Form Mr Brady were massively important to me. They gave me the flexibility to combine my rugby with my studies. I was able to miss lessons to train with the Sharks coaches and without that, there’s no way I would have been able to develop in the way that I did.
“I’m grateful for everything they did for me and it was a massive honour to go back and show my appreciation by giving them a framed shirt.”
Nye went back to Liverpool College with Sharks Academy Manager Fergus Mulchrone, who delivered coaching sessions to the school’s rugby teams.
Fergus said: “It’s really important for us as a club to celebrate the schools and clubs in the North West who work with our young players before they come to the Sharks Academy.
“Nye came through the Sharks DPP and the Junior Academy programme and only signed a Senior Academy contract in April so to see him in the first team at such a young age has been fantastic.
“It’s been a massive boost to the rest of the young lads but it’s so important to recognise the work that went into his development from the teachers here.”
Since leaving Liverpool College, Nye has enrolled on an International Development course at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Fergus added: “Our players’ education off the field is every bit as important as their development on the field.
“We have young players doing apprenticeships as well as degree courses and as a club we’ll support them as much as we possibly can.”