It is shaping up to be a big year for Wallabies prop James Slipper, who was appointed captain of the Queensland Reds in the same week he started a business degree at Bond University.
The 26-year-old was named captain of the Queensland Reds in January, following on from a successful year as vice-captain of the Wallabies throughout the 2014 Test season.
On the back of a wildly successful year where he played all but two of the Reds' Super Rugby matches, Slipper earned himself the Pilecki Medal for Players' Player of the Year for the second time. He was also awarded the People's Choice and Spirit of the Reds awards at the Reds Gala Ball, and the Rugby Union Players' Association Medal for Excellence.
Slipper, a born-and-bred Gold Coaster, said he enrolled in a Diploma of Business at Bond University to bring some balance into his life.
"Playing professional sport can sometimes be quite a stressful job, I'm often away from home, so it's great to expand into other areas to keep grounded," said Slipper.
"I decided to enrol in a Diploma of Business to keep mentally stimulated. Living a balanced life is really important to me, and I have found that by concentrating on more than one area, as opposed to only focusing on rugby, everything in your life improves.
"I chose to study at Bond because the university has such a great reputation for supporting its athletes throughout their sporting careers and degrees."
Slipper started playing junior rugby for the Bond Pirates while he was a student at The Southport School (TSS) on the Gold Coast.
"I played junior rugby for the Bond Pirates, and my local club is still the Bond University Rugby Club, so I have a great relationship with the university," he said.
The front-rower made his Super 14 debut in 2010, the same year he was selected for the Wallabies, and has since gone on to represent Australia in 63 test matches.
Director of Sport at Bond University, Garry Nucifora, said having a sportsman of Slipper's calibre on campus was a coup for the university.
"James Slipper has proved himself to be a young leader and role model throughout the course of his rugby career, which makes him an outstanding representative of Bond University," said Mr Nucifora.
"Because Bond is a small enough institution to offer a personalised education program to its students, James will have the necessary support to successfully manage the commitments of elite sport whilst completing his studies."