Eagle Q&A with Shalom Suniula

Shalom Suniula is a talented half back that captained the Men's Eagles Sevens before making his debut with the Eagles XVs in 2014. Suniula, the younger brother of capped Eagles Andrew and Roland, helped the USA qualify for the World Cup by scoring a try against Uruguay in the team's qualifying victory. Now, the quick-footed distributor will be navigating through a busy summer of test matches in hopes solidifying his place in the Eagles' World Cup squad.


USA Rugby: You've competed for the Eagles in both sevens and 15s. Which code do you prefer and why?

Shalom: I enjoy both codes. For me, it's more about being apart of a team with a positive culture, and at the moment both squads have a great culture. So, I'm thrilled to represent USA in either code I get the opportunity to.


USAR: You work for ATAVUS - whose ultimate goal is to grow the game of rugby. What is it like being on the forefront of that movement?

Shalom: ATAVUS has given me an opportunity to help give back to the sport which has given plenty to me. Rugby is a passion of mine, and I feel very privileged to be apart of this growing movement.

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USAR: Out of all of the places around the world rugby has taken you, what has been your favorite location and why?

Shalom: My favorite location is definitely Fiji. Everywhere we tour people love rugby, but I've never seen fans who are as dedicated to the sport as they are - not to mention the beautiful scenery on the islands.


USAR: What was the feeling like taking the pitch in front of 61,000 people to take on the greatest rugby team of all time - the All Blacks?

Shalom: The majority of my younger days were spent living in New Zealand, so the feeling running out onto the pitch of a sold-out Solder Field against the All Blacks was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and definitely a memory I'll cherish.


USAR: Who is the last teammate on the Eagles you would want to room with on tour and why?

Shalom: Probably big Olive Kilifi. Apparently he sleep talks, and he might sleep walk, too. That would be scary because I wouldn't be able to stop a big man like that.


USAR: Your diverse skillset allows you to influence a match in a variety of ways. Would you prefer scoring a try, making the sleek pass that sets up a try, or convert a difficult conversion from the corner following a try?

Shalom: I'd prefer scoring a try - although I find myself setting them up more often than not.


USAR: What are your goals between now and the 2015 Rugby World Cup?

Shalom: Moving forward, I want to establish myself more within the team and the culture we've built over the past year or so. I'm really going to focus on doing my job, and making sure we're challenging ourselves at training to give ourselves the best opportunities against this year's opponents.