Team USA Eagle 7s Captain Matthew “Polar Bear” Hawkins, despite being a husband & daddy and coaching SDSU as he rehabs 2 off-season surgeries, takes the Thursday slot on RWU. This week, he chats up fellow Eagle Zack Test in San Diego, CA.
MH: Zack, we’ll start off on a serious note. Last year was a great year for you personally on the circuit. Was there anything special you focused on or did before or during the season that you believe played apart in your success?
ZT: Last year was a great year on the circuit, as it was my second full season on the circuit I felt a lot more comfortable out there. Before the season last year, I had been selected and played with the Eagles XVs for two month-long tours, and that allowed to be in a professional rugby environment. The one thing I wanted to focused on what my support lines and work rate around the field.
MH: It is well known and publicized world wide that you and a certain someone who has performance enhancing hair have been dubbed as the “Disney Channel” and have been rumored to be plotting to take over the world?
ZT: I don’t know if we are known world-wide, but our numbers are rising at a rapid rate. As the spokesmen for this criminal enterprise, we can not specify on the “take over” plan, but what we can say is we are always watching and waiting for our perfect opportunity to strike. Believe me we will strike! Disney Channel OUT!
MH: You are what I like to call a multi-talented sports person. you had great success playing football, that found you in Oregon on a scholarship and through a process of difficult choices you found your way playing rugby and have excelled. What are your thoughts on the team dynamics of a football team and a sevens team?
ZT: Team dynamics in football is more like a fraternity. Rugby 7’s team dynamics is like a family.
MH: I have had the pleasure of touring with you and I must say that you are really special to have a family as committed as yours to your success. How does their support at the tournaments effect you?
ZT: I love my family coming to most of the tournaments I’ve had the fortune of playing in and knowing they are there just gives me a little extra boost of adrenaline when it’s needed most.
MH: So now the real questions. You have been rumored to have a significant other in your life? How did she persuade you to take yourself off the market?
ZT: These rumors are true of a significant other, for her own protection, we will keep it at that.
MH: First year in Vegas as a legal candidate for a good time, how did that play out and do you still consider yourself a playa?
ZT: Well, as the saying goes, ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.’ But I will say is what an experience and we’ll have to see if they remember me there for me to consider that “nickname.”
MH: You are getting ready to assemble next week for the Pan American Games. What are your hopes for that tournament and how do you feel the squad is shaping up?
ZT: Very excited about the month ahead leading up to the PA Games. There is no hopes for the tournament, I want to win the Gold Medal and go into the Sevens Circuit on full throttle and take down some Tier 1 teams. Last week, half of the boys were at the OTC training and it was a good preparation. I feel very good about the squad, a good mix of experience with some new talent coming in rising the bar.
MH: Another season approaches and with much left to be decided on how it will be approached as far as full time or not and if so how it will all work, what are your goals for the upcoming series?
ZT: Well, we have had alot of rumors for the past two seasons about becoming full-time, I believe it will happen at some point but no reason to get your “panties” in a bunch about it. My goals for the team is make the cup quarter finals consistently, and making some big time game victories v. Tier 1 teams which we are very capable of.
MH: Anything else you’d like to add?
ZT: On a final note, just want to give some shout-outs. Shalom “The snake/ The Jade” Suniula, Roland “Teef” Suniula: Who is going to have the worst pump-up jam?. Paul “Father Time” Emerick & Mark “Wants To Be In Playgirl” Bokhoven: Disney Channel’s mission is to bring you to breaking point! Nu’u “Misses Hamilton” Punimata, Miles “Boston’s Biggest Gangstar” Craigwell & Mike “Smoke Bomb” Palefau: Who is going to win the “Shirts are for fat people” contest? At stake: coco butter and tan lines.
Shout out to the rest of you boys, can’t wait to see you at camp and take home that GOLD! …And to you Mr. “Best Pecks This Side of the Mississippi” Hawkins, it’s been a pleasure, thank you and bid you fair well. Testyout!
MH: Its been an absolute pleasure as always and we should do this again sometime.
Tomorrow, Phaidra Knight is back with another Female Rugby Super Star…