UCR's Kent Currie talks to William Long of Northeastern

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Over the last few weeks I have interviewed players from Harvard, Dartmouth and Army. The quality of the answers has been superb. This week I caught up with Northeastern's William Long.

Kent Currie: How long have you been playing rugby?
William Long: I've been playing rugby for three years. I first started in the spring of my freshman year at Northeastern University.

KC: What influenced you to start playing rugby?
WL: I first became interested after one of my friends started playing in the fall of our freshman year. He just couldn't stop talking about how much fun he was having and how great the guys on the team were. I had never played before and had barely ever watched any games on television but I thought I'd come out to some spring practices and see what I thought.

KC: What are the best things about playing rugby?
WL: Rugby is probably the greatest all around sport I've ever played. It's a great combination of skill, knowledge, determination and strategy.

Without all of these elements a team can only go so far and due to the continuous nature of the game the players on the field have to possess these traits. The game really pushes you on a number of different levels.

The sport has also allowed me to form countless relationships with both current and former players. Rugby alumni still maintain interest in their former clubs and are always looking for ways to help out current team members.

KC: Do you think you will continue playing rugby once you have finished college?
WL: I'm not really sure yet. A lot of that will depend on where I get a job after graduation and the level of club rugby in that area. If I stay in Boston I'd probably be more inclined to continue playing because so many of our alumni still play on the Wolfhounds or for Boston Men's.

KC: Who have been the biggest influences in your career?
WL: I'd have to say my coach Sean O'Leary. He's the only rugby coach I've ever had and I owe pretty much all of my knowledge about the game to him. He's really a great motivator as well as great coach and being around him you can see why he's been a part of the U-19 National program.

KC: What's your opinion on the state of American rugby?
WL: I don't really follow the national team very much but I've been impressed with the growth of rugby over the last few years, especially within New England. In the last three years alone NERFU has created both a Division 1 and Division 2 for high school boys and added a collegiate men's Division 4. With this type of growth rate universities and the NCAA will have no choice but to begin recognizing rugby as a legitimate college sport in the U.S.

KC: Would you like to represent the USA Eagles at any stage?
WL: I don't believe that's a realistic possibility but that would be a great honor knowing you're one of the best rugby players your country has to offer.

KC: Thanks William
WL: Thanks Kent

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