New Eagles Coach has named two players to be co-captain for this summers’ matches, making two Captain Americas. One is long-time USA Eagles Captain and long-time face of American Rugby Todd Clever. The other is also standout member of the USA team, and that Co-Captain is Blaine Scully.
Scully hails from Sacramento ( Jesuit High alum) and Cal graduate has been a long-time member of the USA Eagles, as well as being one of the Eagles who has played professionally in the UK (Cardiff Blues and before that Leicester Tigers).
We caught up with Scully this past week to check-in with him and get some insight into the coming international matches that will be played here in California later this month (USA vs Italy in San Jose, and USA vs Russia in Sacramento).
Below is our conversation with the Eagle’s Co-Captain!
Blaine Scully at the 2015 RWC vs Scotland. (Photo Zimbio.com)
Rugby Republic (RR): This has been a good year for all your alma maters (Jesuit High School & Cal) all getting to the national championship finals, and Cal winning. We know you didn't play rugby at Jesuit but overall what do you think about the success of your Alma Maters?
Blaine Scully (BS): As an alum, it is fantastic to see the places that mean so much to you be successful. They are special places filled with great people. I will always wish them the best of success and love to see them do well. I was fortunate enough to watch the epic Varsity Cup final on NBC Sports. What a historic win that filled all of us Bears with such pride. So pleased for Coach Clark, Coach Billups, Coach Figone, Coach MacDonald, the support staff and all the young men on the team.
RR: You'll get a chance to play international matches in California again this summer (and again in Sacramento in front of your hometown). How big is that for USA Rugby to keep having matches here in the States, how big is this for you and the other NorCal Eagles.
BS: First and foremost, it is an awesome honor to be able to represent the United States of America! But to do so in front of family and friends is a special opportunity. Northern California continues to be such a hotbed for the game and we are so grateful for all the support we get when we play here.
RR: What was your initial reaction to being named the Eagles co-captain? What does that mean for you personally?
BS: It is a great responsibility that I am very humbled by. While personally I am very honored, the focus is centered on the team. Whatever the team needs in order to be successful is the priority. My hope is to contribute positively to the team, our performances and the building of our unique team culture. I am looking forward to working together with Todd, the coaching staff and all teammates.
RR: Being that as a professional and international player you play almost year round, when and how do you get a chance to recover and re-energize? And what do you do specifically to keep your body and mind fresh?
BS: It can be one of the most challenging aspects of being a professional player. The rugby landscape has a full competition schedule that can make it difficult for an athlete to navigate and balance. An athlete's lifestyle becomes extremely important in being able to continue performing at a high level: diet, sleep, recovery, and physical preparation, all become very important. But also very important and often overlooked, is the support and relationships that family and friends provide, which is invaluable in maintaining a positive mindset.
RR: Not sure if you saw our story with Dr. Steve Durant. What do you think about the mental preparation in rugby and doing work to stay in “blue” brain?
Blaine Scully with Dr. Steve Durant -2015 RWC
BS: The ability to balance both the physical and mental is essential to a positive performance. Staying present in the moment and being able to reset are two important components of staying in "Blue Brain". Dr. Durant was very helpful with that recognition.
RR: How did you get involved with SKINS? What was it about their product that make you opt to represent them?
BS: I have always worn SKINS and am a big believer in compression. I take my recovery seriously and SKINS has the best compression/recovery gear in the business. It is a connection that I am very grateful for!
RR: Eagles will have a deep pool for the summer series with both seasoned veterans and new/young players, based on that how do you view the probability of winning both games in California?
BS: We have a very exciting few weeks ahead of us. The coaching staff has put together a very good plan that we are all looking forward to getting stuck into and executing. During the build up, we will concentrate on installing our systems while making sure we are as physically prepared as possible for the task at hand. The emphasis will be on ourselves and our standards. If we do things the right way, we should put ourselves in a position to be successful.
We want to thank Blaine Scully for this time. Just coming off a long professional season he’s now going into his work with the Eagles, so we know he is busy. The best thing you can do in the next month is to get out to the Eagle's two California matches (San Jose and Sacramento). Both are great venues and the tickets are very affordable. Get out there and cheer on the boys!
Congratulations to Blaine Scully on being named Co-Captain! You can follow Blaine Scully on twitter @BlaineScully1.