Rugby international picks up our barbering scissors

Rugby international picks up our barbering scissors

A former Samoan international and Sale Sharks rugby player has picked up his barber’s scissors at Trafford College.

While Sale Sharks fans might have been more used to seeing Johnny Leota ripping up the turf at AJ Bell Stadium, the powerful Centre-fielder has been learning the art of clippers, patterns and neck-lines at Altrincham Campus’ training salon.

And he’s really good at it. Leota graduated from our part-time Level 2 Barbering course with a merit – after sailing through Level 1 with flying colours.

The 35-year-old, who hung up his boots for Sale Sharks to move to Sale FC Rugby Club on May 18th, said: “I wanted to learn the art of barbering after cutting my son’s hair and wanting to get better at it. I don’t think too many people these days pass judgement on a rugby player doing a course in barbering. I enjoy creating, whether it’s on or off the field.

“The best aspect of the course was the scissors technique; I really enjoyed that. Trafford College facilities were excellent. I was quite surprised when I started my first course about how good they were.”

Trafford College’s Hair and Beauty Department is attached to Enhance Spa & Salon, which provides hairdressing, beauty, spa and complimentary therapies at discounted prices, accessible via the on site car park off Stamford Brook Road.

As well as studying here, barbering students are encouraged to get work experience in a salon, which Leota did at Skullfades Barber Shop in Sale.

The father-of-five, who has 20 test caps for Samoa, said: “I had hoped to get a distinction - I’m competitive with everything - I’m determined to master the art of barbering.”

Leota joined Sale Sharks in 2011 and made more than 130 appearances for the club. He has played for the Highlanders super rugby side and made 50 appearances for Manawatu in the New Zealand Provincial Championship.

As well as studying vocational courses with Trafford College, Leota has also been working with sports departments of local schools to teach the next generation of athletes, which won him a Rugby Players Association Development Award for his pro-activity off the pitch.

Sadly, due to rugby team commitments, Leota was unable to develop Trafford College’s squad during his studies, but he is keen to work with our player development in future.

Assessor Nigel Garrett said, “Johnny was a great inspiration to the group. He is eager to have a go at any task presented to him. Barbering is just fun: it’s challenging and rewarding. The skills set is there to be learned and taken on board. Come and enrol!”