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Andrew Suniula Interview

Getofmeland

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Andrew Suniula, a Centre for the U.S.A. Eagles and one of the rugby playing Suniula brothers, sat down for a chat with This Is American Rugby to discuss his club future, the World Cup, and rugby in America.

This Is American Rugby: You recently signed with the CornishPirates of the RFU Championship, how did that come about?<o:p></o:p>
Andrew Suniula: I had a strong Fall Tour in 2010 and I guessthey saw a couple of those games and it went from there.<o:p></o:p>

TIAR:
What are you looking forward to the most about theupcoming season?<o:p></o:p>
AS: I am mostly looking forward to playing again at a highlevel, week in and out.<o:p></o:p>

TIAR:
Do you think there are other similar opportunities outthere for American rugby players?<o:p></o:p>
AS: Opportunities are out there for every rugby player inthe U.S.A. It's just that there is no clear pathway of getting there. In theEagles currently, some guys go there through great performance on the bigstages, i.e. RWC, IRB 7s circuit. Others such as myself, grew up playing thegame overseas, coming through their systems.<o:p></o:p>

TIAR:
What advice would you give to someone who wants to tryplaying rugby overseas?<o:p></o:p>
AS: My advice for any young kid growing up playing rugby inAmerica is to aim at playing for their country; USA national team. The journeywill lead you to what you need to do and where you need to go in order to getthere. Rugby is a global sport. Who knows where in the world you may end up ifyou chase your rugby dreams hard enough.<o:p></o:p>

TIAR:
You previously playing with the Many-Warringah SeaEagles of the National Rugby League, what was it like switching from League toUnion?<o:p></o:p>
AS: I played a log of rugby growing up so it wasn't a hardtransition at all, especially because I played in the backs in both codes.<o:p></o:p>

TIAR:
Do you ever regret the decision to switch?<o:p></o:p>
AS: Not really. I mean I love my rugby league and wasenjoying playing rugby for the Sea Eagles at the time. But the once in alifetime opportunity to play for the USA Eagles and take part in the 3rdlargest sporting event in the world at the Rugby World Cup 2011 was a nobrainer.<o:p></o:p>

TIAR:
Having played in the domestic leagues in the U.S.,what do you think is the best way to improve the quality of play?<o:p></o:p>
AS: Obviously the season is way too short for anyone toimprove. So there needs to be a longer season, maybe a spring to fall season.Also, we need to create competitive localized leagues. Pretty much how thedomestic 7s season is structured, where clubs/teams compete in their region toEARN a chance at playing for the national ***le. I think the DI is structuredsimilarly.<o:p></o:p>

TIAR:
You brothers were mainstays on the U.S. 7's team thislast season, how closely do you follow 7's.<o:p></o:p>
AS: Growing up I used to follow the 7s circuit a lot closerthan I do now, usually because it was on T.V. all the time. We don't have thatluxury in the US so they (brothers) have been updating me on how theirgames/tournaments went on.<o:p></o:p>

TIAR:
What do you make of the U.S.A. 7's programme?<o:p></o:p>
AS: The Domestic 7s season is growing I think. There wasdefinitely a step up of playing level from last year to this summer so teams andtournaments around the country are getting more competitive. E.g. Young Bloodz,who didn't qualify for nationals last summer, were second away from booking aplace in the National final this year, only to be bumped out by eventual winnerBelmont Shore. There is a lot of talent in America starting to fall in lovewith our game through playing 7s.<o:p></o:p>

TIAR:
If you could change anything about Rugby in America,what would it be, and why?<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
AS: Extend the domestic competition into the summer. Haveone competition-like DI-with this competitive domestic league bringing the bestplayers and coaches to the from in years to come.

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