Gavin Mcleavy is a former rugby player from England and the creator of MGM sports management handling rugby players from around the world.
What was your local rugby club growing up and did you get to play for them?
I played for Walney Central ARL and Barrow Raiders Rugby League.
What rugby player was your idol growing up, what team did they play for?
Vai'aiga Tuigamala of New Zealand and Western Samoa and Andrew Farrell, both at Wigan at the time. Both of them played league and union in their careers. Farrell is currently the defense coach for the Irish national team and his son plays for England (Owen Farrell)
What is your favorite athletic moment on the pitch as a player, it does not have to be a try but it can be a tackle or any action, whether solitary or in combination to others?
I just loved playing. I didn't even care if I won or lost. It's just a beautiful game to be involved with. I did enjoy a good hard tackle, especially if the lad was bigger than me. I enjoyed the challenge.
Why did you choose the United States to promote Rugby, compared to other countries where Rugby is not most popular?
I would have promoted rugby wherever I landed in the world. Here in the USA there's a special combination of things happening and I'm in the right place at the right time. It's going to be massive here. I just know it. I played in Spain for a while and it didn't have any traction at the time so I didn't get that involved but when I found it here I had the feeling that it was all just about to blow up and it has.
People complained that Italian soccer clubs need to enforce cultural changes in their fans to eliminate biases, based on appearance or religion or other. Are Rugby clubs prepared for such media request if an incident occurs at a club?
I don't think clubs are prepared for it. However I think our tradition of humility, morals and education prevents people of that ilk coming into this environment. Folk in the stands would simply stamp it out the instant it happened. ...in an ideal world of course. I think rugby is built on the foundation of Being welcoming to anyone and everyone. Gay, straight, black, white, fat or thin. It's a game made for all shapes and sizes so I think people are more accepting of all sorts.
What is the least talked about aspect from announcers or pundits, concerning a rugby match tactically?
I think a lot of pundits in rugby don't look or maybe don't have time to look at the tiny details of what an individual will do to win the ball, make the tackle or pass well. Preloading a jump at the lineout, a prop getting the right body height at contact in a scrum. Seeing the structure of a team in defense and attack. It's becoming more about the crash, bang and speed. That's what sells tickets to the average joe I guess. The obsessed like myself want to know how and why a team won. The half inches, you know what I mean? We need a bit more analysis.
Do you have a favorite female rugby player or team?
Heather fisher from the England 7's team. She has had her health problems with anorexia as a kid and rugby helped her a lot. Then she broke her back which caused a lot of stress and she started losing her hair with alopecia. She Couldn't tackle as a kid and now she is known for her tackling. Just a really interesting story and person. Look her up, she is an inspiration.
Advertise your current activity, youth players your developing or teams/organizations your apart of or charity, in two hundred and eighty characters or spaces?
So I started a team called the Okapi Wanderers which has been the catalyst for all that I'm involved with in rugby. We are now the biggest rugby club in Florida and investing in youth development in the traditional rugby sense. Along with that I run MGM sports management which hosts rugby summer camps, consults for organizations that want to grow rugby. I recruit for colleges that give kids scholarships to play rugby and I'm also an agent searching for talented players that want to take their game professional. So I keep pretty busy in the rugby world.
What book are you reading now? If none, what was the last book you finished and when did you finish it?
I've actually just been reading James Haskells new training book. He is a bit of a nutter but he has been around the block in the rugby world and at the peak of his career right now he has some good information. I figure if you're going to spend time reading you may as well make it entertaining.
If you have a chance to speak to one forebear, describe them as you want: who will it be, what will the topic be, and what will be the setting?
None rugby related? That's easy. My granddad, Tommy Loudon. I spent a lot of time with him as a kid, he played football for Blackburn Rovers and Scotland. Always thought he was a good bloke and very interesting. I found out so much stuff about him after he died, stuff that he never spoke about. He did a bunch of heroics in WW2 traveled the world for work as a boilermaker on boats, hung out with some of the most important footballers and coaches in Britain and just kind of kept it all to himself. He wasn't too happy I opted for rugby over soccer as a kid but never made me feel bad about it. He was from a humble generation and I don't think we extracted a lot of information from them because of the way they were raised. Things are very different now. I would love to pick his brains over a couple of pints.
When you have a chance to speak to the spirit to all that is or is not, what will you say?
I'm not a religious man. I need proof. If the Bible is a true story I'll probably say " how much did I screw it up?"
What question did I not ask that you wanted me too?
All good bro.
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