Friday, April 15, 2016

Q&A With Ohio Coach Paule Barford

This Is American Rugby's Derek Sagehorn spoke to Paule Barford, coach of Ohio Pro Rugby, about their preparations for Sunday’s game against Denver.

This Is American Rugby: How has your preseason gone so far?

Paule Barford: We’ve have done well. We have had players filtering in due to visas and other issues. But they have assimilated the coaching very well. It’s been nice to get outside. We’ve been using Tigers Academy to lift weights and Resolute Athletic Complex’s indoor turf to do field work.

TIAR: Is there any attitude or culture you’re looking to instill in the squad?

PB: The team may have a reputation for having a chip on its shoulder. I don’t necessarily agree. But we do have a fair amount of guys that may have been overlooked in the past. That has fostered a bit of an edge, which is healthy. Obviously, being in the Midwest, we’ve naturally adapted to our blue collar surroundings.

Take the jump to read more.

TIAR: Are there any players you are looking to lead the way during Sunday’s match in Denver?

PB: We don’t have any superstars to be quite honest. We are a well-rounded team. We do have Jamie Mackintosh, who arrived yesterday. We’ll see how the lineup shakes out. But we do have a pair of really good scrumhalves and a very capable back three.

TIAR: Is there any way you have prepared for playing at altitude in Denver?

PB: No, there isn’t much we can do besides show up a week early. I suppose we could train in gas masks, but that isn’t in the budget just yet. We can’t control the weather or conditions. We’ve been working hard to get into professional shape however.

TIAR: How has the team adapted to professionalism?

PB: They’ve done very well. We weren’t sure of their expectations at first. For a lot of them, it is the first time they are drawing a paycheck for playing a sport. During our interviews, I asked several of them what their hobby was in their spare time. I shook my head and said “rugby is your job now, you gotta find a hobby.”

But the boys have adapted well. We’re trying take care of them between two-a-days. Make sure they get plenty of protein and ensure they recover.

TIAR: What kind of atmosphere do you expect for your home opener 5/1 at Memorial Park in Obetz?

PB: We’re expect it to be a carnival or festival. Lots of kids and people having fun. There will be a high school game between Gonzaga and St. Ignatius as the curtain-raiser. We see it as a celebration of our arrival in Obetz and Ohio. We just hope the weather will cooperate.

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