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Jun 29

With You! Rugby Podcast – Phillip Eloff





This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation Brian Vizard spoke with 2022 U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame inductee, Phillip “Thabu” Eloff. Phillip is a former Chicago Lions player and a star for both the USA Eagles 15s and 7s. He grew up in a small town in South Africa and started playing organized rugby when he was 8 years old. Phillip came to the U.S. when he was 18 and began his rugby in the States with the Houston Rugby Club, now the Houston Athletic Rugby Club (HARC).Phillip earned 35 caps for the Eagles 15s, scoring 10 tries, and he played in two 15s Rugby World Cups. He also played in one Rugby World Cup for the Eagles 7s. When he retired from playing, Phillip gave back to the sport by coaching at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with the US Collegiate All-Americans, and with his old club, the Chicago Lions.

Show Notes

00:31 – Brian introduces 2022 U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame inductee, Phillip Eloff.

1:30 – What was your upbringing like in South Africa and when did you start playing rugby?

3:20 – How did you get your nickname, Thabu?

4:08 – When did you come to the U.S. and what was your main reason for doing so?

4:56 – What rugby team did you play for in Houston and how was your time there?

6:50 – What are some of your best memories of playing with the Lions?

9:37 – What are some fond memories from your World Cup campaign in Australia?

11:48 – Tell us a bit about your time in Europe for the 2007 World Cup.

14:56 – You scored 10 tries throughout your career in the Eagles 15s, does one stick out in your mind?

16:08 – Did you play a lot of 7s during your career?

18:13 – What are some of your favorite memories with the Eagles outside of the World Cups?

19:38 – Who was your most difficult opposite to play against and why?

21:52 – Which teammates did you really enjoy playing with?

23:58 – Did you enjoy coaching college students?

26:46 – Does one rugby memory stand out above the rest?

27:39 – Of all the tours you’ve taken, what was your favorite and why?

29:36 – Looking back on your career, what are you most proud of?

30:12 – What does it mean to you to be selected for the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame?

Wrap Up