BYU Rugby Prop Mikey Su'a: Interview of the Week

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BYU Rugby Prop Mikey Su'a: Interview of the Week

The long wait and anticipation is over as the 'Interview of the Week' series finally features none other than big BYU Prop and All-American, Mikey Su'a. Joining the ranks of what seems to be an increasingly consistent BYU presence on the Collegiate All-American roster, Mikey's selection to the squad granted him the chance to compete internationally earlier this month.

Throughout the regular season and National Tournament, Mikey's dominant physical presence and surprising mobility on the field excited BYU Rugby teammates and fans alike. And as a clutch player, his flexibility and growing test experience enabled him to fill in at the critical Hooker position for Ra Lawrence during the 2009 National Championships. (Photo by Paul Meyers)

BYU Rugby Prop Mikey Su'a rumbles against Dartmouth in the 2009 Playoffs
BYU Rugby Forever:
In the National Championship final this past May, you received a yellow card just before the end of the match. What exactly happened in that critical situation? In your opinion, did your actions justify the ref's call?

Mikey Su'a:
Well, it was about six minutes until the final whistle. I had just made a tackle at the base of the ruck; I got up, and Kyle Sumsion and myself started to counter-ruck. We both counter-rucked, and then I counter-rucked again...the next thing I know, the referee is giving me a yellow card for "not attempting to wrap in the tackle." I've watched the game film over and over, trying to see what the referee saw, but I still really don't understand the call...but I think all in all, it worked out just fine.

BYU Rugby Forever:
As a selection to the 2009 All-American Traveling Squad, you recently returned from a 3-match tour to South Africa. Please describe your experience, on and off the pitch, for the benefit of us fans. What moment stands out to you as the highlight of the trip?

Mikey Su'a:
Going to South Africa as a part of the All-American Team was an awesome experience. It was a hard but rewarding tour. We started off in Glendale, Colorado, for the first 3 days just training and getting to know our teammates better; then it was about 26 hours of traveling to Cape Town. We trained twice a day for most of the tour just to try to make the most of our opportunity to play together and to try to get used to one another's style of play.

Rugby in South Africa is just a way of life, so to be able to go and be a part of that whole culture was something else! I would have to say that playing in Newlands Stadium was definitely a highlight of the tour. Just to be in the stadium and to see where so many famous matches have been played was a humbling experience.

BYU Rugby Forever:
Several players from Cal Berkeley also traveled with the All-Americans to South Africa. Was it a tough transition to suddenly have to practice with, support, and play alongside your usual rivals? Thoughts? Experiences?

Mikey Su'a:
It really wasn't tough at all. The Cal guys were very easy to get along with. We all knew what we were there for. Part of playing on a team like the All-American Team means that you've probably played against most of your new teammates before you play with them. But being a part of a rugby program like Cal, they know the type of rugby you have to play to be successful, so it was a very easy transition to play with them.

BYU Rugby Forever:
An inevitable question, what's the story on your recruitment experience with the BYU football team? Will you end up playing after all, and if so, at what position?

Mikey Su'a:
Well, I was asked to be on the BYU Football team as a nose guard. After training with them all summer, and some of fall, I was made aware that I did not qualify through the NCAA Clearinghouse. Basically, I didn't take the right amount of "core" classes when I was in high school, so I won't be playing football at all...just concentrating on rugby!

BYU Rugby Forever:
What is your outlook on the upcoming 2009-2010 rugby season? With several key players graduating or leaving on missions, what will the BYU Rugby team need to do to be as competitive as last season?

Mikey Su'a:
We will definitely miss those players that are leaving. No one can replace a Steve St. Pierre, who left such a mark on BYU Rugby. Steve was an example, both on and off the field to our entire team, and the best team captain you could ask for. Guys like Paul Lasike, Kyle Sumsion, and Jordan Lowry, who made such an impact on the field, will be missed but we'll be excited to get them back from their missions.

Over all, we have a very positive outlook on the upcoming season. We are starting our strength and conditioning sessions with Coach Omer and Coach McClure soon, which will help us get in better shape, and then Coach Smyth, Coach Tarawhiti, Coach Kjar, and Coach Nadauld always work us hard. They know what it takes to be successful, so if we as a team can trust the coaches to prepare us, I know we'll be successful this season.

BYU Rugby Forever:
What would you say to all the BYU Rugby fans and alumni around the world if you had the chance?

Mikey Su'a:
I don't think the fans and alumni know how much we sincerely appreciate them. From all those supporters that open their homes to us, to the fans that just cheer for us. Without all of the BYU Rugby supporters, there is no way that BYU Rugby would be at the level it is. At almost every practice, training, or game, our coaches remind us of all the people that help behind the scenes, whether it's BYU Rugby alumni, fans, or just supporters. We know who you are and we thank you!

BYU Rugby Forever:
Thanks for your time and consideration, and congratulations on the opportunity to represent the US internationally! Good luck this coming year!

Mikey Su'a:
Thanks for the interview opportunity, bro!

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