JWB: You’re a big man with little time, so let’s get started before you change your mind and mistake me for an opponent.
JS: Fire away.
JWB: How did you start playing rugby?
JS: Just a few buddies from high school got me into it.
JWB: Your rugby career is saturated with subliminal and not-so-subliminal political themes: Your hometown club being Fredericton Loyalists & professionally, the London Irish. Thoughts?
JS: Haven’t really thought about it till now. Weird coincidence, I think.
JWB: Would the Loyalists grab their muskets and surround Quebec should the Quebecois finally succeed in there vote to secede?
JS: Ha ha ha… I don’t know that there are too many Loyalists left, other than the boys at the Club!
JWB: London Irish. Is there a more oxymoronically (new word) named team in the history of sport?
JS: London Welsh? London Scottish?
JWB: Damn! You’re good… Red Deer. The RWC site has you as being from there. What’s it like and how did it get it’s name?
JS: Well, I was only born there. I was raised just outside Fredericton in a place called Charters Settlement. Charters was awesome. A lot of the guys I grew up with out there now play rugby for the Loyalsits.
JWB: Testing your Canadian-ness; Have you ever been to a Queen of The Furrows Festival?
JS: Ha! No, I don’t even know what that is.
JWB: You and [Adam] Kleeberger, are you sure you’re not confused about which Cup you’re chasing after?
JS: Seems that way! But hockey boys only grow theirs in the playoffs – ours are older than that. Kleeberger’s beard is amazing!
JWB: Your try in the upset of Tonga – which we called in our SportGuru pool picks (that we are perfect and in 1st place) – was that the biggest in your rugby career and how did it feel?
JS: It felt amazing. The best part was that it helped our team win. The feeling of scoring was only rivaled by the better feeling of winning that game.
JWB:: Did you guys have a few LaBatts or Molsons after that stirring victory?
JS: No, we kept it pretty low-key with the 4-day turnaround. Every minute counts – so we stayed off the beers. And all around Kerikeri last week – and Napier this week – there’s been a lot of red. It’s awesome to see and the people have been amazing.
JWB: Do you enjoy flattening a scrumhalf or flyhalf more and why?
JS: I enjoy crunching the tight 5 guys more. It’s pretty tough at this level to get a clean hit on the halfbacks, anyway. They always just seem to move outta the way of the big ones.
JWB: Is it true you don’t speak to [Aaron] Carpenter and Kleeberger because tight 5 guys don’t really consider “loosies” forwards?
JS: I’m kind of a loosie/second row myself, so I’m allowed. The other guys though…. Seriously, our back rows have been outstanding so far, and Carps especially has really been putting in some hard work and runs. He’s also a capped hooker, too – which some people don’t know!
JWB: I was one of those people! Wait I till I see him!
JWB: C’est vrai que Les Bleus de France were secretly funded by angry Quebec Nordiques fans?
JS: I think the Nordiques fans are still saving their money trying to get a team back to Quebec City!
JWB: Good answer! Who’s your favorite NHL team and what would be your dream position on that club?
JS: I love the Habs [Montreal Canadians] and getting to man the point on the power play would be pretty cool.
JWB: Strengths and weaknesses for Tonga?
JS: Tonga obviously are known for their physicality and South Pacific flair; the latter can sometimes be used as a weakness because it makes them unstructured sometimes.
JWB: Astute analysis! I will steal that. Same question for France.
JS: Well, the French flair, of course!
JWB: Will you help me organize and fund a professional North American Rugby Union (NARU) from your obvious Beardo endorsement money?
JS: You hook me up with the endorsements and I’ll give you 25%. You’re my man on this one.
JWB: Are you guys as ticked that the Blue Jays play in the American League East?
JS: Yeah. It’s a pretty tough division for them. They’d make the playoffs a lot more if they didn’t have to battle with Boston and NY all the time.
JWB: If I can come up with the best endorsement idea/package, will you and the Beardos let my Barber To The Stars, Barber Bart, do the trimming and shaving? He cuts the hair of NY Met star David Wright and New York Ranger Sean Avery – before his troubles.
JS: Yeah, that could work. Like I said, you’re my new man on endorsements. Make it happen!
JWB: What are ways that the little locks out there can cheat in a lineout?
JS: Well, if you’ve called the right lineout there shouldn’t be anyone there to give you troubles. Otherwise, no matter how tall you are your gonna be under the pump a bit. We try to use a bit of speed more than anything.
JWB: Final question: If you guys don’t win the Web Ellis, who will?
JS: I don’t know really. Both the top teams in our pool are looking pretty good. I might have thought the Aussieshad a shot before Ireland got them. And the Boks always have a shot with their size and physicality.
Tomorrow, Mathew Drew Turner returns… This time, answering Fan Questions!