Alex Coles, the Northampton Saints rugby player, has opened up about his Christian upbringing.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Coles said his parents, who later became vicars, took him to church every Sunday when he was young.
“I wasn’t that buzzing about it as a young kid,” he said. “At that stage they weren’t vicars... that happened when I got a little bit older.”
The 21-year-old said his parents always supported his passion for rugby, even if it meant missing Sunday school to go to training instead.
“‘Church was a big part of my life. My parents always gave me the independence to make my own decisions, whether that’s rugby or religion, and I wouldn’t change any of it.”
He continued: “You go to secondary school, read things and make your own opinions. I like the church’s sense of community and the compassion. I’m not religious now but it definitely instilled some values that I try to live by.’
Coles has been called up to join the England team for the autumn series.