Monday, March 28, 2016

Konrad Excited By PRO Rugby Opportunity

The PRO Rugby season is just around the corner and for many young and emerging Americans that means there is going to be an opportunity to play rugby and make some money. One of those players is Kalei Konrad. The fly-half was a standout for San Diego State and then for OMBAC this season in the PRP. Now he's going to get his shot playing along with Kurt Morath in San Diego. We caught up with him to get his thoughts on the upcoming year.

TIAR: In the last few years you've gone from playing with SDSU to OMBAC and now PRO Rugby. Describe what that journey has been like.

Kalei Konrad: The journey definitely feels like a culmination of a lot of hard work.  Something I couldn't have done without the support of my teammates and coaches at SDSU and OMBAC.  I feel very lucky to have received a contract especially in San Diego where I've played the majority of my rugby.  SDSU and OMBAC have given me the chance to play with and for some really good rugby players and coaches.

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TIAR: What attributes do you bring to San Diego?

KK: I think I bring a good understanding of what it's like to play in San Diego.  I think one of my roles on the team as a playmaker is to help control and lead the team. I think that also translates beyond the field. There are many challenges starting a new team, guys moving and commuting from different places, it's important to create that stability and team unity for the upcoming season.

TIAR:  How much of an impact did playing for OMBAC have on your growth?

KK: It helped me immensely.  It was great the last two years to come on as a guest player and finishing out their season after San Diego State's was done.  It really got me to understand how I physically and mentally needed prepare to play well in the PRP.  I went from a team where I was one of the more experienced to playing with former eagles and successful foreign players.  Playing with OMBAC was crucial in my development as a player.

TIAR: What do you think PRO Rugby is going to do for the game in America?

KK: It is an amazing opportunity to get all of America to fall in love with rugby.  The growth of rugby in the last couple years is incredible, it is becoming contagious.  PRO Rugby can be successful and I'm optimistic that this will be the start of a very competitive exciting competition.  I think this is something a lot of people want to be a part of and see take off.

TIAR: How did the opportunity with PRO Rugby come about?

KK: Obviously as soon as you hear talk about a PRO Rugby league start to emerge you get excited about idea of being a professional rugby player a goal that I think every athlete can relate too.  As more news started to trickle in the excitement continued to build and then I was really fortunate to get a contract.  This opportunity is something that I am extremely grateful for and I look forward to continuing to work hard to see San Diego and PRO Rugby succeed.  

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a mature and humble athlete. Very encouraging if many of the younger players coming through are similar. Other professional athletes could use a little of the same.