Former All Black Glen Osborne is now one of the boys in blue after being sworn in as a police constable in a ceremony in Wellington.
Osborne, who played rugby at the highest level throughout the 1990s, was one of 60 new constables to graduate at the Royal New Zealand Police College today.
He said going through the training and teaching himself how to study was a big challenge.
"I spent 30 years with no study at all, just reading books and bits and pieces, so it was probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.
"Getting back into the study, all the liabilities, the law that's involved with being a police officer and just trying to understand what the whole process is all about, that, without a doubt is the biggest, biggest hurdle I've ever faced," Osborne said.
At 44, he said he was one of the older graduates, but still felt as fit as he was in his All Black days.
"For myself, with all the fitness training I was in the top three in all of it, so as long as I can hold my own with all the younger ones, no one can really say anything.
"I've always been a fitness freak so, as long as I keep up to those standards, I believe with my experience and with a little bit of wisdom behind me, I'd be a good value for the police," Osborne said.
In a sporting coincidence, the former All Blacks coach John Hart was the patron of this year's group - the 298 recruit wing.
Hart said he was honoured to be asked to be the patron and did not know at the time that Osborne was on the course.
Hart said the recruit course was not easy and he was proud that Osborne completed it so he could serve his community.
"All Blacks past and present would be proud of Osborne," he said.
Osborne was not the only one who had made a career change, with others making the jump to the police force from the army, mechanical engineering and beauty therapy.