Senior eight man, James Matthews, also known as Thor, is competing in his final season with Troy rugby. Matthews has been selected to the Deep South All Stars on three occasions and has received man of the match while playing with the team. Known for his massive size and speed, Matthews is widely known across the Deep South Conference as a sure tackler and a hard runner. Defenders hate to see Matthews with the ball in his hands.
Matthews got involved with rugby when a member of the team approached him in the school weight room. His fondest memory comes from when he first started playing. He said, “I met our former eight man in the student weight room and he invited me. My first 15s try again a conglomerate of men’s teams, I slammed the ball in the try zone turned around and chest bumped the same 8 man that had gotten me interested and in the process doubled him over because I hit him in the throat with my shoulder.”
Matthews, current vice president of the team and captain, has enjoyed every minute of playing with Troy. He loves the diversity amongst his team and their winning attitude. “Playing with Troy has been an excellent experience. We are one of the most diverse teams in the conference and our different in a lot of ways from many teams. We are similar in all the ways that people love such as the brotherhood, and the desire to play and have fun.
Intensity is one of the things Matthews loves about rugby but enjoys coming together with the opposition after a hard fought game. At the end of the day, he is all about having fun while playing rugby. “Intensity and that the social aspect creates the atmosphere that having fun really is the most important thing contrary to most other sports. A loss in rugby doesn’t always equate to a horrible week or day, explained Matthews.
Look out for Matthews and the rest of the Troy rugby team as they look to dominate the rest of their season in the Deep South Conference.