Former Rugby Star is a Hit with College Pupils
OS Jack Cullen (PP, WH, SuH, 00-11) returned to the College on Thursday 8th November to speak during Senior School assembly about his journey from a rugby-loving pupil to professional sportsman to promising singer. His overriding message to pupils was to reflect on what they feel really passionate about, whatever it may be, and to follow that passion.
Jack struggled with dyslexia during his school days and put his heart and soul into his love of rugby, feeling most at home on the rugby pitch. However, he still wanted to make his academically gifted family proud of him, which he did through rugby, signing his first professional contract while still at school - which adversely affected his exam results.
Jack left school going straight to Ireland where he signed with Munster, playing for them and for Ireland U18's before being fast-tracked into the U20’s team. He represented Ireland in two Six Nations campaigns and was disappointed not to be selected for the World Cup in New Zealand, feeling that he had enjoyed a successful season. As a result, he decided to take time out to travel to Africa, only to receive a phone call during his travels inviting him to join the Ireland team in New Zealand immediately, to replace an injured player. It was while playing in the World Cup in New Zealand that he came to realise that he no longer felt the same passion for rugby.
The following two years were "a very dark time". Unable to play rugby due to injuries he underwent surgeries on a shoulder and a knee. It was during this period that he picked up his guitar again, began writing songs and found solace in enhancing the skills he had taught himself at the age of 15. His passion for music took over and half way through his first season with London Scottish, he knew that he no longer wanted to play professional rugby.
Having made his decision, Jack applied all his sporting determination to focus on his musical career, performing on BBC Radio, at various venues including Standon Calling 2018 and signing with a management company.
Pupils were thrilled to hear him perform his latest single, Teabags and Cigarettes, in assembly. His singles Learn and Teabags and Cigarettes are both available on Spotify and Apple Music. You can also see Jack live on Friday 23rd November, when he will support Lucien Parker at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen .