Israel Dagg Interview


1. How do you think the Crusaders have played this 2011 Super Rugby campaign?

The boys have showed a lot of courage and heart this year with all that's been going on down in Christchurch.  It has really brought the boys together and you can see it in their performances that they are doing what they can for their families and the community.

2. Are you looking forward to playing in the Rugby World Cup in your home country?

I just hope I am selected!  But clearly if I am picked it would be awesome to play a RWC at home in front of my family and the rest of New Zealand.

3. How do you think the All Blacks will do in the tournament?

Win it!

4. You have recently became a regular in the All Blacks squads, how does that feel to reach that achievement?

The great thing about the All Blacks is that no one is guaranteed anything.  You have to keep performing week in week out and the competition for spots is incredible so it is hard to ever think of yourself as a regular.

5. Who was your rugby idol growing up?

Christian Cullen and Jonah Lomu

6. So far what has been your career highlight?

Putting the jersey on for the first time against Ireland and running out of the tunnel in front of my family.

7. Which players impress you from Northern Hemisphere teams?

I like the way Ben Foden plays “ he's always looking to attack. Shane Williams is another guy I like watching, he can do some pretty freaky things on a rugby field.

8. Who has been the toughest player you have played against so far?

Quade Cooper “ just so unpredictable.

9. Who is the best player you have played with?

Dan Carter

10. Did you enjoy the opportunity to play in Twickenham for the Crusaders even though it was for a great cause?

I enjoyed it thoroughly “ it was just great that it was a good day so we could put on a bit of a spectacle and Twickenham is an awesome stadium.

11. You play in a team with some fantastic international players, Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Sonny Bill Williams, Brad Thorn and emerging players such as yourself, does it make it easier alot of the All Blacks squad comes from the Crusaders when it comes to combining as an international side?

It is a lot easier as you have the familiarity with the boys and the combinations are already in place. It just makes it a lot easier to get into the environment and gel together.

12. Which stadium has been the best you have played in?

Soccer City “ Soweto.

13. You have scored 2 great tries against South Africa, one coming off the bench. How did it feel to make that big mark on the International Rugby scene?

It was pretty special to score my first try in such a big test and in front of my family. The try in Soweto was nice as well given the situation but a lot of hard work had been done inside me “ I had the easy task!

14. As a successful professional what advice would you give to youngsters who are trying to make it as a professional rugby player?

Train hard and dream big.  But don't forget to keep having fun.

15. Do you enjoy travelling the world with the All Blacks squad?

Yes, it's a dream come true.

Other Questions

Favourite holiday destination? Lake Waikaremoana which is a National Park in the backblocks of the Hawkes Bay.

Favourite food? Lamb chops

Favourite movies? Enemy at the Gates

Favourite band/artist? 660 “ gotta keep it Kiwi!

Hero (who isn't in rugby)? Dirk Nowitski

Favourite sport/team (which isn't in rugby)? Dallas Mavericks

What do you do in your spare time when not playing rugby? Golf, Fishing


Finally “ if you had a message to say to your fans who have been supporting the Crusaders week in week out, what would you say to all of them?

The support we have had this year at a time when lives have literally been destroyed all around the province has been both incredible and humbling. It is an honour to represent the people of Christchurch at a time like this and we just hope that we can repay them with a Super Rugby title this weekend.