Q&A With Dan Collins'13, BC High's First Professional Rugby Player
Major League Rugby is now a Professional Sport in the United States, and BC High graduate Dan Collins'13 was recently selected to play for the Boston based team. Dan played Football and Rugby at BC High, and is currently on the coaching staff of each sport at BC High.
Question#1: Did you get an invitation to try out for the Boston team, and how many others were competing to make the team? Dan Collins: "For our first match there were 30 players selected from the 3 main clubs in Boston: Mystic River, Wolfhounds, and Boston Rugby Club. Following that match there was a tryout of 90 players from all over New England." Question#2: When is the first season for Boston, will it take place in the Fall or Spring? Dan Collins: "Boston will join the competition in January of next year and the season will end in early June." Question #3: How has the sport of Rugby grown since you first started playing at BC High? Dan Collins: "Rugby has grown immensely in the United States since i was in high school. Last year was the first season of the MLR and it was a huge success. The league is centered on building up the Club level, which will feed directly to the professional sides. I think this format will prove to be important for the sport moving forward because local talent across the country will be developing." Question #4: Reflecting back on your playing days at BC High, what skills or traits did you learn that remain with you today? Dan Collins: "I had 2 great coaches during my time here, Paul Carty and Damian Dowling. They made sure the basic skills of catch & pass and identifying space were drilled daily, which has played a massive role in my playing career since. Perhaps more importantly, they instilled in us that Rugby is very much a game of respect, both on and off the field, which is something I have carried with me throughout my playing days." Question #5: Who have been some of the major influences in your life in the sport of Rugby? Dan Collins: "My Dad and my brother Owen both played which is why i was interested in the sport from a young age. I also thank Coach Carty and Coach Dowling for their influence on me at BC High." Question #6: You look back to the beginning days of Professional Football or Baseball, and all of the players had day jobs, and then played their professional sport 'on the side'. Do you think this could be a similar situaton with Rugby if we look back years from now with players, like you, working and then playing Rugby off hours? Dan Collins: "I think it's certainly possible. The inaugural season for the MLR was a massive success, and the sport will continue to grow at all levels here in America." Question#7: How does it feel to be the first BC High alumnus to play Professonal Rugby? Dan Collins: "I am very excited and thankful for an opportunity like this. Without my time at BC High I would not be presented with this kind of opportuniy."