Leeds Rhinos' Adam Cuthbertson aims to clean up in new venture

Leeds Rhinos forward Adam Cuthbertson has gone down a surprising path as he contemplates life after rugby league.
Adam Cuthbertson scores against Toronto. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.Adam Cuthbertson scores against Toronto. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Adam Cuthbertson scores against Toronto. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Now 35 – and out of contract at the end of this season – the two-time Grand Final winner is developing a reputation as an up-and-coming coaching prospect, having guided Rhinos’ women’s side to four trophies during two years in charge.

He stepped down from that role in the off-season to focus on completing a masters in sports directorship at the University of Salford, but is continuing as an assistant-coach with England women as they build up to next year’s World Cup.

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And on top of that, in a complete departure from his sporting background, Cuthbertson now runs his own business, El Naturals Skincare Limited.

Adam Cuthbertson in action against Salford Red Devils. Picture by Steve Riding.Adam Cuthbertson in action against Salford Red Devils. Picture by Steve Riding.
Adam Cuthbertson in action against Salford Red Devils. Picture by Steve Riding.

That is a long way from the traditional occupations rugby league players enter after hanging up their boots – the emergency services, pub trade and the like – and arose out of what Cuthbertson admitted is an obsessional interest in cleanliness.

“In my spare time I like to get busy and have hobbies,” Cuthbertson explained. “I am quite interested in how to make things and how things work.

“In the past it has been about landscaping and gardening, but once I moved on from my garden another interest of mine was skincare.

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“I am a bit OCD [obsessive compulsive disorder] about that sort of thing, I like to be quite clean and I always used to buy quite a bit of it and shop for it quite extensively. It got to a point where I thought I wouldn’t mind figuring how to make it myself.”

Cuthbertson’s Rhinos teammates were guinea pigs in the early days of his new venture. He recalled: “I started making it at home, making up batches of it and sharing it with the lads.

“They all liked it and I came up with some really good products, so I thought it could become a business and that’s where it all evolved from. We produce products such as face masks, moisturisers, cleansers, body lotions and facial serums, which are all manufactured here in the UK. It is all locally sourced and I am trying to make it as eco-friendly as possible.”

The industry is licensed, so Cuthbertson devises formulas at home and then forwards them to manufacturers who produce the goods.

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He added: “I have been dabbling with a lot of different formulas. Me and my girlfriend have been trying to come up with a lot of different ideas.

“The product we are trying to produce is unisex, something couples can use.

“We are living in a very metrosexual age, where men and women tend to shop for very similar skincare products and I am trying to put some formulas together that appeal to both male and female, to make a unisex brand.”

With no rugby league being played during the coronavirus pandemic, Cuthbertson – who moved to England from Australia in 2015 – has more free time to devote to his business, which includes CBD [Cannabidiol] products used as a natural anti-inflamatory.

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On the flip side, these uncertain times are not ideal for anyone trying to get a new venture off the ground, but Cuthbertson is upbeat about his venture’s long-term prospects.

“It has been a slow progress, but I have made a large investment in my skincare range, which is meant to be coming out at the back end of April though we may have to push that to May now,” Cuthbertson said.

“I think if I had received my products now and had to start selling them it would have affected me.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty at the moment and people are reluctant to go out and spend money, but I have got an online shop – www.elnaturals.uk – and that makes my life a bit easier in terms of business. I think if I had an actual shop it would be in trouble at the minute, but it’s fortunate I haven’t got that.”