Otago coach Ben Herring really is quitting rugby to spend more time with his family.
The “family” line is a common one for players moving elsewhere, but Herring’s motives can’t be questioned.
The 39-year-old will quit after the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup season to spend all of his time with his family.
The former Super Rugby loose forward is taking a year off to travel around America in a van with his wife Wal and their four children.
His inspiration is the film Captain Fantastic about a family which has been living off the grid. It stars Viggo Mortensen, who plays the dad who is named Ben.
“Captain Fantastic is my favourite movie of all time,” Herring told the Radio Sport Breakfast.
Ben and Wal’s kids are aged 10, seven, five and one.
The Herrings will be packed like sardines, launching from Texas with the aim of visiting 40 states.
They are prepared, having spent three months touring America a few years ago.
That was a lesson in the dangers of buying a “horrendous” van, so this time the family home and possessions will be sold so they can buy a quality vehicle.
There will be some mobile homeschooling, but this is more about the school of life.
Herring said: “We did a six-week tour around New Zealand in summer and I said to my wife shall we do this fulltime? She said don’t say this until you mean it. A month later I said I mean it.
“It teaches a lot of patience, living in small spaces with small children. It is incredibly rewarding … it puts life into perspective.
“We’ll show the kids a bit of the world … an awesome life experience. We’ll float like the wind. We’re up for everything. It’s something I’m pumped to do.”
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