Sports Scholar Spotlight: Charlie Wardle - Rugby

Spotlight: Charlie Wardle

Charlie Wardle’s rugby journey embodies perseverance and dedication. From childhood games to aspiring for Sale Sharks and the England shirt, his story emphasises determination. 

Early life

In a family deeply immersed in sports, Charlie Wardle’s childhood was a whirlwind of games and matches. Initially drawn to football, his journey took a pivotal turn when rugby became his passion in year 7, altering the course of his sporting destiny permanently. Raised in an environment where active lifestyles thrived, Wardle found his siblings equally absorbed in the world of sports.

Lifelong dedication 

The spark that ignited Wardle’s love for rugby stemmed from his father, who introduced him and his brother to the club where he once played. That initial introduction to the rugby field laid the groundwork for Wardle’s dedication to the sport. 

Resilience training 

Amid aspirations fuelled by witnessing academy peers secure professional contracts, Wardle’s training regimen became a disciplined routine. However, life threw a significant challenge when a severe injury sidelined him for 20 months, testing not only his physical strength but also his mental resilience. Yet, bolstered by a robust support network of family and friends, Wardle persevered, inching forward daily to reclaim his place on the field. 

Monumental moments 

Certain moments in Wardle’s career stand as monumental, such as wearing the jersey for his county’s u15 game, symbolising a step beyond the local club or school. Juggling sports with personal life and education demanded dedication, carving out time for sports, studies, and cherished hobbies like spending time with his beloved dog, Maisie, and indulging in films.


For Wardle, maintaining peak performance transcended training. He explains: 

‘Maintaining peak performance wasn’t just about training; it was a lifestyle. Recovery rituals—stretching, adequate sleep, and therapeutic hot and cold baths—became sacred routines. Pre-competition rituals included meticulously cleaning my boots and a ritualistic walk around the pitch, visualising every move.’ 


Setbacks and injuries became inevitable companions, teaching Wardle the value of focusing on self-improvement and controlling what was within his grasp. Looking forward, Wardle aspires to a lasting career representing the Sale Sharks and aims to wear the prestigious England shirt, emphasising leaving a legacy of inspiration and self-determination.

Wardle’s advice for aspiring athletes echoes a simple truth: unlocking potential rests solely in their hands. The journey may present obstacles, but the spirit to conquer them defines true champions. 

Find out about our University of Manchester Scholarships.

Our A to Zs

Sport A to Z

View our A to Z of all the sports that we offer at Manchester.

Activities A to Z

Take a look at all the activities we offer to get you more active at Manchester.