The Shore Group are proud to work with Simon Shaw MBE as one of our Brand Ambassadors. For those of you who don’t know, Simon is a former English rugby union player who has won virtually every major honour rugby has to offer, including the World Cup, European Cup and Premiership Cup. In this interview, we find out more about Simon’s career after rugby and how the partnership with The Shore Group works....
So, Simon firstly, can you tell us how your collaboration with The Shore Group came about?
Basically, I met James and Lewis at Twickenham a few years ago whilst working as a guest speaker in the corporate boxes, and we’ve become good friends ever since. As we talked more we realised there was a great synergy between my network and contacts, and the sectors The Shore Group was focused on.
What attracted you to The Shore Group?
Roughly 30% of box holders at Twickenham work within the construction and property sectors and everywhere I’ve played has always had a strong construction following, so It was a natural fit. I’m really impressed by The Shore Group business and have been blown away by the scale of the operation.
Where do you add value to the Group?
I believe I can help support the evolution and growth of the Group. For example, through my network, we’re building strong partnerships with consultancies including architectural and design firms, an area which we’d previously not supported. But it’s not just new clients, as we’ve developed our service portfolio, we’re now able to offer more to existing clients too.
What’s been the hardest transition from playing professional rugby?
It’s been tough, to be honest. The biggest challenge is overcoming people’s preconceptions that rugby players are just meatheads. It was initially difficult being judged away from the rugby field, especially in various business environments. I played professional rugby for over two decades, so I miss the day-to-day banter with team-mates. We’d normally train 5 days a week and the build-up to games was always pretty intense.
Other than working with The Shore Group, what has been the highlight of your career?
Hahaha. Tough question, I’ve had several highlights over my career, but if I’m totally honest, I’m just so grateful to have been able to play the game I love professionally for over 20 years. I made 71 appearances for my country, played in 3 world cups, was fortunate to have won the European Heineken Cup on three occasions, and I loved the unity of representing the British & Irish Lions on three tours and also won the premiership title.
When did you stop playing Rugby?
I finally hung up my boots in 2013 with Toulon in the south of France. I feel in love with France and still live in the area now, commuting back to the UK 3 /4 days per week for business.
What are you up to these days since you’ve stopped playing?
I have two non-exec roles working with a sports marketing company called K2 and obviously now keep busy with The Shore Group. I also I’m a stakeholder in Rare which own restaurants that include Gaucho and M Bar and Grill.
What are your future goals and ambitions?
Finally finishing building my house would be a good start. I took on a grand design type project in France and it’s proved a very stressful experience. On a serious note, I’d love to continue the charity work I do both at home and abroad. One of the main charities I’m involved in is the Atlas Foundation, which is a charity designed to use rugby to help develop social change throughout 15 counties all over the world.
From a business point of view, I’d also welcome the opportunity to take up some more non-exec roles in businesses where I can actually add value. In addition, I also really enjoy seeing both M Bar and Gaucho develop and grow.
The last two questions, I promise…
How tall are you? And have you ever met anyone with bigger hands than you?
Hahaha, I’m 6ft 8inches tall and not lost many arm wrestles.