Q&A: TEAM USA EAGLE STAR PHAIDRA KNIGHT

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Phaidra (courtesy USA Rugby)

NEW YORK, NY – A prennial Team USA Eagle, Phaidra Knight is one of the most recognized names in women’s rugby, both home and abroad. Johnathan Wicklow Barberie, a long-time pal, managed the following Q&A with Ms. Knight:

JWB: You’ve been an Eagle for quite some time. How long? How many caps?
PK: I have been on or about the squad since 1999 (12 years). Nearly 30 caps.

JWB: Wow! That’s quite an accomplishment! 7s and 15s???
PK: Yep, I have had some time on both squads.

JWB: You’re from ‘down south’ as some Americans refer to it. Alabama?
PK: Um, no! Georgia. Irwinton to be exact.

JWB: That’s not exactly a renowned rugby breeding ground… How, why and where did you start playing?
PK: I started playing in Madison, Wisconsin while in law school. I was training to walk on to the Wisconsin basketball team but was intercepted by rugby. I was inivted to a practice and that was that. 14 years later, I’m still standing, in the words of my man, Elton John.

JWB: You’re an extraordinary physical presence in person. Do you think you’d have any trouble kicking my fanny on the pitch?
PK: Um, lemme think about that one… I doubt it.

RobinRoemer.com Photo

JWB: Alright… No argument here. Maybe we can jostle off the pitch?
PK: Is this an indecent proposal?

JWB: Yes. So, you’re spoken for.
PK: Well, you could say that.

JWB: Changing gears, what’s been your greatest rugby experience and why?
PK: Everytime I am asked that question, I give a different answer. It was winning the 2006 National Championship at Disney. We had a sea of orange representing along with Mark Zupan from the US Quad Rugby team. It was AWESOME!

JWB: Has there ever been one opposing player that you’ve said, “Jiminey! I wish SHE wasn’t here? Why or why not?
PK: Well, “Jiminey” probably wasn’t my word choice, but I have said that about entire teams.

Sinkler, Knight & Daniela Mogro *NY TIMES

JWB: How has the perception of women’s rugby changed since you’ve been playing and what still needs to change?
PK: The perception has become much more positive. The women’s game is much more diverse and I believe that has been one of the major contributing factors. There needs to be much more exposure at all levels, particularly at the national level.

JWB: For those that don’t know, when is the women’s World Cup held and how did Team USA fare?
PK: The last cup was in England in 2010. We finished 5th.

JWB: Getting back to your longevity. You work very hard but you do play a very physical game. Injuries???
PK: A few. Torn eyelid, dislocated ankle, broken foot. That’s about the worst of it.

JWB: We solicited questions to ask you from some past and present teammates. Ready?
PK: I’m not sure about this…..

JWB: Your former Eagle teammate and current fitness-enthusiastic magazine editor at Experience Life (www.experiencelife.com), Jen Sinkler, wants to know what your favorite TV show is – because you made your mates watch it EVERY TOUR.
PK: The one and only “Strangers With Candy“. Love Jen Sinkler!

JWB: Team USA teammate and fellow national champion New York Rugby Club teammate, Jenna Flateman, wants you to reveal your favorite Karaoke song…
PK: Well, I have a few but one of my all time favs is Secret Lovers.

Lauren Shaughnessy, Scrumhalf Connection Wendy Young, Jenna Flateman

JWB: NYRC teammate and brain behind the ultra successful NYRC 7s Tournament, Jessa Giordano want to know your about the strategic value of contact lenses.

PK: I have acquired so many best friends (props) on the pitch by conveniently “losing my contact” and taking a minute. I think it may have caught on as a trend now.

JWB: True or false: You can be found at times on a sideline, even as a reporter, with a jar of almond butter.
PK: True

JWB: We’ve worked with you on camera and you’re a natural. We’re tickled to announce that you’ll be doing some interviewing of players on RWU. Is it a challenge like playing? How do you prepare?
PK: It can be at times but once I get into a rhythm, I can roll with it. I generally prepare when driving around in NYC. I guess to others it appears that I am talking to myself.

JWB: Thank you Phaidra. We are very keen on having you reporting in each Friday!
PK: I am keen on being a part of the team!

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About Johnathan Wicklow Barberie 118 Articles
JWB is the contrived Kiwi sports personality who can't go ANYWHERE without being asked for an autograph. He always obliges. Find him on Twitter at: @JWB_RWU