What did you want to become when you were a child?
I definitely wasn’t thinking about having to work when I was younger so I’m sure you could say I wanted to be an athlete. I spent all my time outside exploring and playing with buddies. I think high school was the first time I realized people had to make money to support themselves and I knew I wanted to be an engineer.
Career wise, how long have you been playing rugby for?
I started playing rugby in grade nine just because a lot of my friends were involved and I had recently stopped playing soccer, which was my main sport at the time. By grade 12 I had become one of the better players in the province, mainly because I had had a big growth spurt! I started playing at a high level when I selected for the Canadian U-20 National team at 18. From there I made the sevens team which I have played on for seven years and the fifteens team which I have played on for six years.
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far:
I’m most proud of the two gold medals we won at the Panam Games in 2011 and 2015. In both semi-finals we came from behind to beat the USA and in both finals I scored two tries and we came from behind to beat Argentina.
Who inspires you?
I grew up with a ton of great role models with my parents being at the top of the list. Hard work and belief were instilled upon me from a young age. An athletic performance I’ve looked up to in recent years is Derek Redmond in the 1992 Olympic Games. He tore his hamstring, but finished the race and it always reminds me how much work is required when no one is watching and how quickly sport can be taken away from you. He had put in years of work only to come up short in the eyes of viewers, but he would be able to walk away knowing he gave it his all.
What aspects of your job do you like best/least?
My favourite aspect is that ‘playing rugby’ is called a job! I never forget how lucky I am and my parents definitely don’t let me forget that I am living the dream. My least favourite part is that players have to come overseas to make a living. It would be amazing to live in Canada and be able to do this.
How do you bounce back from a defeat?
I think at this level wins and losses are treated the same. Give yourself a moment to be happy or sad and then immediately onto review and the next task.
What makes you happy?
Most of my friends can tell you I’m at my happiest watching a Romcom and eating great food that I haven’t made. Beyond that I love to hike to an amazing view or go out on my paddle-board. Vancouver and Victoria are great places for both. Also, time spent with friends walking around town or hanging out at the local coffee shop cannot be beaten.
What brings you the greatest satisfaction?
Being able to see definitive results of something I’ve been working on brings great satisfaction. Whether it’s making a tackle or actually being able to communicate in France, having hard work pay off feels great.
What is your favorite song of all time?
Juicy – Notorious BIG
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
To stop caring what people will think and to be okay with making mistakes.
What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
White chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce or a large bag of Miss Vickeys.
Which living person do you admire most?
My dad for overcoming many challenges in his life and providing me with a great life.
What do you most value in people?
What do you wish to achieve in the next decade?
I’ve barely put thought into next year, but hopefully I will enjoy an amazing rugby career, complete my MBA, and be working on something I enjoy and believe in. Hopefully have a family of my own by that stage!
What is your motto?
“It’s just money”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Happy and in the sun
Any advice for those wanting to pursue rugby as a career?
I’ll direct it at North American’s. Don’t judge yourself by the people you’re playing with. Judge yourself by the best in the world and work everyday to improve.
Any last words?
Don’t be afraid to be selfish with your time.
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