Hey! Ho! Let’s go! We grab five minutes with Max Woodward, Captain of the Hong Kong National Rugby Sevens team, ahead of the Hong Kong Sevens kick off.
What’s it like to be Captain of the Sevens team, do you feel a lot of pressure?
No more pressure than I felt when I wasn’t captain. We have a lot of senior guys in the side that share the leadership responsibilities.
How do you gear up for a big match?
I train hard in the weeks leading up to it and try not to over think and just play. And I always get the glutes going 15 minutes before the team warm up.
Do you have a good luck item you wear when you play a game?
No, I’m not superstitious!
How did you feel after losing the match against Japan at the Olympic Qualifier?
Gutted. To be 10 minutes from Rio only to throw it away was pretty devastating. But that’s sport!
If you weren’t playing at the Sevens this year, what costume would you wear?
I think my pals are going as gap year travelers with buckets and neon paint so I’d have to get involved in that.
How do you balance work and play when there’s so much temptation to go out drinking in Hong Kong?
Given we are normally quite busy with training, it’s always nice to have a bit of a blow out every now and then. It’s not as fun going out in Hong Kong as it used to be when I was 18, but I do enjoy going to FAB bar on Wyndham Street because I know Ben Rimene will always be there.
How hard is it to get into the Hong Kong Sevens team?
It’s a lot harder than people think. Apart from being good enough in terms of your skill and fitness level, you also need to the either be born in Hong Kong (like I was) or you need to have a HKSAR passport.
When did you start playing rugby, and who is your favourite player?
I started playing rugby when I was nine years old at Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC) where I played Mini Rugby. My favourite rugby player is Lee Jones.
What is the worst rugby injury you have ever had?
I have dislocated my elbow and torn my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
What is your advice to anyone wanting to get into professional rugby?
You have to actually like the game before you do it, and don’t do it for the sake of it. Play for fun first and foremost, not for anything else, otherwise it will get tiring pretty soon!
Catch Max and the team in action at the Hong Kong Sevens from April 8 to 10.