Earlier this month the 15-year-old could be spotted whipping up a three-course meal at the finals of the Rotary Club’s Young Chef competition before swapping his whites for studded boots and shorts to take on the Wasps at rugby.
Harlequins player Sean Richardson is a closet cook.
“Gingerbread is my favourite,” he boomed.
His powerful frame makes the chair look like one you’d find at a primary school.
It’s hard to picture his enormous bear-like paws delicately crafting miniature pumpkins for the gingerbread haunted house he made at a recent competition.
For The Weald School student, cooking is more than just a hobby, but admits the rugby lads may have been left in the dark about his food fetish.
And much of the Harlequins U18 team will still have no idea to this day that hours before kick-off a judge was inspecting his flambe chicken.
Sean had pulled out all the stops for the district finals at Rydon Community College on February 9 - judges blown away by a gourmet offering of butternut squash and chilli soup with twinkling (yes, twinkling) croutons, chicken and tarragon on a bed of pancetta and peas followed by one mean apple and cinnamon pie.
“He’s been baking since he’s been able to stand on a chair to get to the kitchen table,” said mum/chauffeur/PA Lynda, who admits to having felt slightly nervous for her safety when flames 2ft high launched from the pan during home practise.
Sean said: “This is the first year I’ve really taken cooking seriously.
“I started to watch the Great British Bake Off, and really enjoyed it, because they’re normal people like you and me.”
Judges adored his grub, and the chef finished in third place.
“There was a lot of talent there, and I thought I’d come last, it was such a shock!” exclaimed the teen.
Later that day he made his debut for the U18 Elite Performance Development Group Harlequins in the backrow against the Wasps.
Such an appearance is a huge step on the path to a professional career, which is Sean’s goal, even if it means hanging up the oven mitts for good.
He’s been playing rugby since a very young age, and currently represents Horsham RUFC as well, but being the talented sportsman he is, was forced to leave behind his other great loves - badminton and football.
At this point I’m starting to feel a little emasculated and shrivel in my seat. ‘I can be manly too’, I want to huff.
Keen to find a flaw in this perfectly chiselled God among men, I probe education.
Surely with so much on the go his text books are covering dust?
No. He’s academic as well. Of course.
His secret: “I get most of my work done in the car.”
At the helm of this portable school is Lynda, who runs the well-oiled ship that is her son’s life.
“Everything has to be scheduled,” she explains. “But I’m so proud of him and how hard he works at everything.
“When he was little - he was never little - I kept a baby diary and said he would make a perfect rugby player, but I never thought it would happen.
“Before and after his matches I do worry and worry and worry, but during I find you get really stuck in.
“It doesn’t have the same affect when he’s in the kitchen though.”
I’m sorry I’ve exposed your love affair with food in the paper, Sean, but those cupcakes you made me were just too good to be true.
Article courtesy of the West Sussex Gazette - Rugby teen’s cupcakes are the scrummiest