WORCESTER Warriors winger Bryce Heem swapped the rugby pitch for the exam room having helped to set up the 31-12 victory over Leicester Tigers in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
Heem, who scored two tries at Welford Road, is studying for a degree in Business Management at Massey University in his native New Zealand and as part of his studies he had to sit two three-hour exams this week.
The exams took place in a hospitality box at Sixways with Heem sitting them alone with only an independent invigilator for company.
“I was exhausted mentally at the end of them and I didn’t have too much time to celebrate the win at Leicester because I had to prepare for the exams,” Heem said.
Heem began thinking about gaining qualifications outside rugby while he was still playing in New Zealand.
“All the provincial and franchise teams in New Zealand have an education and welfare officer so you are encouraged to think about what you will do after you finish playing rugby from an early age. So I started thinking about that in my early twenties,” Heem said.
“We are very fortunate at Warriors to have Lynette Cutting who works as the club’s Education Officer. She is excellent and helps the players to get educational qualifications, develop skills in different trades and to find work placements.
“It was Lynette who sorted out the arrangements for my exams this week.”
Cutting, the former principal of Stourbridge College, is the mother of Beck Cutting, a hooker in the Three Pears Warriors Academy. She joined Warriors three years ago and works with Warriors’ first-team and Academy players to support them in balancing their education and training with rugby.
Heem’s exam commitments meant he missed training on Tuesday but he was back in a familiar environment on Wednesday for a morning of gym work.
“At the moment I’m not sure what career direction I will go in when I finish playing. But it’s important that you have something to help you take your mind off rugby and studying for my degree has helped me to do that,” Heem said.
Heem, who joined Warriors three years ago from the Waikato Chiefs, expects to find out his latest exam results before Christmas.