No that’s not Hercules in the picture above, but it may as well be. The 6’3 255 pound freight train you see is Jason Marshall, a professional rugby player who recently competed for Canada in the Rugby World Cup. Jason holds a degree in Business and was busy crunching numbers before he started crunching people on the rugby pitch. He currently resides in France, where he represents not only himself, but his country as well. So CAVE decided to get in touch with Jason and ask him a few questions, and here’s what he said.
CAVE: First, lets talk about getting signed to Stade Aurillacois Cantal Auvergne. When you inked the deal what emotions came over you?
Jason: I would say relief. It happened during the last week of the World Cup, I came into the tournament with a pretty uncertain future. I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep on playing rugby as an amateur player anymore, due to the lack of money. So I was actually thinking about different career opportunities, which I wasn’t too keen about. So really the opportunity to come over to France to play professionally just made sure that I do not have to worry about getting a real job for awhile.
CAVE: You recently played in the Rugby World Cup, how did it feel to represent your country on such a big stage?
Jason: It was amazing. To be a part of such an event at the world stage is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was all the way down in New Zealand, but the support we had from the locals and the Canadian fans that travelled all the way down there was top notch. I know none of us took the opportunity for granted, because we were reminded all the time that thousands of other guys would kill to be in our spots to represent our nation.
CAVE:You’ve always been athletically gifted, even from your days as a college quarterback, to your cfl tryout; did you feel like it was just a matter of time before you would be able to showcase your skills and earn a pro deal?
Jason: Well after being cut from the Eskimos I thought my sporting career was over. I was preparing for a career in Accounting. But that’s the beauty of being a multisport athlete growing up, I was able to go back to rugby. The rugby route wasn’t easy, there was a lot of trial and error so to speak. It took a lot of hard work to get to where I am, which I wouldn’t give credit to talent, but more to my drive to try and better myself every day.
CAVE: Now that you’re in France, what has been the biggest lifestyle adjustment?
Jason: Definitely the language. I came here with one week of Rosetta Stone under my belt, which it is safe to say I knew zero French. So that has been pretty difficult. And they also have terrible gyms here.
CAVE: You walk around at 6’3 255 pounds, what advice could you give Canadian men in terms of helping them reach their physical goals?
Jason: It all depends on what your physical goals are. I think the most important thing is to try and push yourself every day. The biggest problem in pushing yourself to the max every day is motivation. In my case, one way I get motivated is by watching YouTube videos. If you’re like me type ‘how bad do you want it? football’ into YouTube, the next thing you know you’ll be heading out the door for a workout. Also if you find yourself sitting on the couch watching TV, make some room on the floor and do some pushups or situps during commercials. And eat healthy.
CAVE: What parts of Canada are you missing the most now that you are overseas?
Jason: Probably the food and NFL Sundays.
CAVE: If you weren’t playing Rugby, what would you be doing?
Jason: Well I love the gym, so I think I would be doing some kind of personal training.
CAVE: Describe what your perfect ‘ManCave’ would entail?
Jason: Well playing sports for a living there is a lot of down time, which means playing a lot of video games and watching movies. So I have put some serious thought into this. The most important thing is obviously the TV, so I would go with a 60” HDTV. You would have to have the ultimate channel package with every channel you can think of. I would have an Xbox 360 and a PS3 for some extreme gaming. There would also have to be some serious surround sound for the ultimate movie experience. I would have movie style seating with La-Z-boy chairs. I would also have a bar set-up for beverages and a fridge for food. And if the room is big enough, a pool table and dart board would have to be in there, and a poker table. If there is a bathroom in there I wouldn’t leave.
CAVE: Away from training and Rugby how do you enjoy spending your free time?
Jason: Well as you can see from my ManCave description, I try and live a pretty relaxed lifestyle that includes video games and movies. And although our coach doesn’t recommend it I try and get in as many gym sessions I can throughout the week if the body isn’t too sore.
CAVE: How close is Canada to not being seen as an ‘underdog’ in big international matches?
Jason:Well every year we are closing the gap between the 1st tier and 2nd tier nations, we are continuously getting more competitive. But the main difference between Canada and the top nations is that the players for the top nations are in professional leagues playing at a high level of rugby all year long. The reason most Canadians are not playing professionally is due to employment laws within the countries that have professional leagues. Most teams can only have two foreigners on their team, and most teams would rather have Australians or Kiwis instead of Canadians or Americans. So until that rule is changed or until a professional league is set up in North America we will still be behind the development curve and be considered an underdog to the top tier nations.
CAVE: Success is often defined as the perfect mixture of talent, skill, motivation and timing. With holding a University degree, gaining a CFL tryout and now signing professional rugby deal, what words of wisdom can you give the men back in Canada who are chasing their dreams of success?
Jason: I don’t want to be too cliché but I live by this quote that is written on the wall at Level 10 in Vancouver, it keeps me motivated and driven and hopefully it will do the same for someone else.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” – Kevin Durant
For more on Jason follow him on twitter @Jason_Marshall_