Player Spotlight - Owen Collins

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Owen Collins is a rising star in American Rugby. At 21 he has already played 3 seasons with the Super League club Boston Irish Wolfhounds.

Collins, who is a former USA U19 representative, is a tall, strong and fit midfield back. If he can develop his core rugby skills to match his athleticism I'm sure he will become a regular starter for the Eagles one day.

Kent Currie: When did you start playing rugby? And what got you motivated to play it?
Owen Collins: I started playing rugby when I was 14 years-old as a freshman at Boston College High School. My motivation to play rugby came from my father, who played for many years. As a young child I was always around the game because of my father, and eventually fell in love with it.

KC: How have you developed your skills and how have you become more knowledgeable about the game?
OC: My knowledge of rugby has come first and foremost from my teammates. Every week in practice as well as games I learn something new from them. Secondly, by watching internationals, Super 14, or Heineken Cup I try to absorb as much as I can from them and bring it to the field on the weekend.

KC: What sports have you played besides rugby?
OC: American football.

KC: From which sport do you think makes the best rugby recruits?
OC: I think that football players make the best recruits for rugby. With American football you have guys that love contact, know how to tackle properly, and are capable of controlling themselves in contact.

Owen Collins

KC: The fitness levels in American rugby are very poor, how do you think USA Rugby can improve the fitness levels of players around the country?
OC: This is a great question Kent. The overall fitness of a player relies solely on them. It depends on how much they are willing to work in the off-season that is going to help them and their team once the season starts. To improve this level of fitness for all players, I think every club should be required by USA Rugby to fitness test their players at the beginning of the season. For this fitness test USA Rugby can set a mark for each of the tests. Each player will be able to see where they stand in relation to what USA Rugby expects of their fitness. I know this is a long shot, but at least this will give every player an idea of where they stand, and it will push them to be fit.

KC: What are the biggest obstacles for American rugby and what changes need to be made to improve the game here?
OC: The biggest obstacles in American rugby are the four other major sports that rugby has to compete with; football, hockey, baseball, and soccer. These sports offer scholarships and possibly a professional contract to them later on down the road. The professional aspect makes these sports an awful lot more desirable than a sport, such as rugby, that is not professional in this country. This is why you are seeing more and more American, as well as Canadian players head overseas to play rugby.

KC: What's your biggest goal in rugby?
OC: To stay healthy, and one day play for the Eagles.

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