DJ Forbes is a player with great leadership qualities. In November he was named Captain of the New Zealand Sevens team. His elevation came just nine months after he made his national team debut. He hits like a truck. Johnathan Wicklow Barberie snagged him by softening him up with Michael Jones stories.
JWB: Welcome, Mr. Forbes. It’s an honor to have you with us. We’ll try to be brief.
DJ: No worries bro… sorry its taken awhile to meet up.
JWB: So what was more nerve-racking, your first game as All Blacks 7s Captain, running the magazine or your wedding?
DJ: Shux, they are all pretty intense operations, lol, but I’ll have to say the wedding.
JWB: How will the nagging injuries to McCaw, Dagg & Muliaina affect the All Blacks in the later RWC rounds and are you available if duty calls?
DJ: Oh, that’s part of rugby and will test the depth – as well as the character – of the other players and the team. And of course I’m available for duty, but I don’t think Graham Henry has my number… Ha ha.
JWB: No worries, I’m stalking him and will see that he gets it… Now, did you grow the beard so you would no longer be taunted by teammates for being labeled a Sex Symbol and since you choose to be bald, I you afraid you look upside-down with the Beardo Look?
DJ: Man, that was a funny week when I got the news… as a matter of fact I think it was the beard that gave me the edge on making the list. Still though… get a bit of stick from the lads.
JWB: As an Auckland boy do you see the Blues returning to dominance soon?
DJ: Yeah, well a lot of people are waiting for that. Probably one of the best franchises on paper and looking to get even better with some BIG signings next year. But cos I’m with Counties, and that’s puts me in the Chiefs catchment area, and there’s a lot going on there with a new coach and all, so they could be a side to keep your eye on next year.
JWB: Seaking of boys… You have some precious cargo these days.
DJ: Yeah, my son Titus just turned 2 the other day. Gonna be tough leaving him behind during the 7s; he’s at that age where he knows when Im gonna be away for awhile!
JWB: What do you love about 7s the most as opposed to 15s?
DJ: Definitely the culture of the team, traveling around the world with just 12 guys. Management really brings the boys together and I guess we have that respect and work ethic that probably starts from just hanging out and being a family away from our family? Probably makes the difference in those tight games. And obviously the space and speed of Sevens makes it a exciting form of Union to play!
JWB: Last night, did a DJ save your life?
DJ: Ha ha… Imagine.
JWB: Thought you might be too young for the reference. “Last night a DJ saved my life…” It’s a song I sing to loosen up before going on camera.
DJ: Nah. nah. I know it very well… I’m actually a DJ or Disc Jockey you might call it, and I’ve gotta gig this Saturday. Might use that song as the opener???
JWB: Will DJ-ing with vinyl and 15s be lost in time because of innovation and 7s in the Olympics, respectively?
DJ: There’s probably the potential, in all honesty, but who knows? In other countries it is already taking its place, but in NZ 15s is obviously the pinnacle. But over the next few years you will see a lot of kids growing up and specialising in 7s alone! I mean an Olympic gold medal can’t be taken lightly and once that’s established in NZ, some big calls will have to be made between 15s and 7s. And there might be a bigger impact and more resources put into 7s. I’m probably 5 years too late though. 🙁 Ha, ha.
JWB: Please comment on this photo:
DJ:Ha ha. Awesome look, aye? I kinda like setting trends or in that case, breaking ’em. Ha ha. In one of the Hong Kong tournaments the team brought a pair each and at the tournament function, we all had to wear them – hard case. And like you can see, some looked better in them than others. lol.
JWB: Did you start or stop wearing the glasses because of me? Women love them.
DJ: You do actually look a bit more comfortable in them than me, and it was last year’s trend, so watch this space – might try bring back the afro …NOT!
JWB: If you were to play on an NFL gridiron team, which would you choose and what position?
DJ: The Green Bay Packers for sure, and I’d like to be a defensive end!!! Or Linebacker.
JWB: Follow up: What player would you like to see in an All Blacks uniform for 7s? 15s?
DJ: Oh… anyone to be honest. The last guys I played with who are in the All Blacks now are Adam Thompson, Victor Vito, Israel Dagg, Zac Guildford and Cory Jane. So just to see the boys that got their chance through the 7s scene is awesome to see. It’s a credit to Titch [7s coach Gordon Tietjens] – and how he always seems to find or create superstars.
JWB: Coach Tietjens is renowned for getting you guys fit. How do they keep you fit cardio-wise when injured and unable to run? How fast can the fitness be regained and what’s the best approach to?
DJ: Um, good question because I don’t do too much running at home, just cross training. I’m a big fan of Rowing… and Swimming. I think is underrated, both of these play a huge part in my training and have maintained my fitness when its comes to fitness tests and Titch’s trainings. We’ve got a good management team that treats the players on an individual basis to maximize demands, needs, etc… To your last question, if you’ve got a good base, you don’t need to thrash the body daily. Just 20-40min Cardio hits at high intensity is enough to keep it ticking away. I think you can prob go about 3weeks of nothing before the body starts losing abit, but its not too bad getting it back up to speed. But like I said, it’ll depend on what your base fitness is like. aye…
JWB: Rosalie MacGown of the NYRC National Champion Women, really ‘appreciates’ you. Especially in your shirtless Haka ceremonies. She’d like to know when the next player auction is.
DJ: Hmmm… I’ll have a chat with the boys. Some of the boys reckon they’re pretty expensive. 🙂
JWB: Who will win the RWC, who will they beat and who will come in third?
DJ: All Blacks to beat England or Wales and Ireland 3rd… but my World Cup Dark Horse is Samoa… their chances coming down to the game against South Africa.
JWB: Coaching in your future?
DJ: Yeah, definitely in the cards; already had a couple cheeky offers for coaching clinics around the world – one in the USA, too – so who knows? Still got a bit to give playing wise, so will keep ya posted!
JWB: Thank you, D.J… See at the IRB 7s tournaments.
DJ: Yeah, definitely bro… Thanks for the chat!
Another 7s Captain, Team USA’s Matthew Hawkins, tomorrow.