Player Spotlight Series: Connor Wallace-Sims
The self-proclaimed “chunky but funky” RUNY Player Connor Wallace-Sims hopes to make it to the 2023 Rugby World Cup. But in the meantime, you can find him at his favorite local spot in Chinatown, chowing down on some delicious (yet mysterious) dumplings.
Connor has been surrounded by sports since he could walk. His mom played volleyball and tennis at college, and both his dad and sister played rugby. Connor’s first experience as an athlete started with Aikido, the Japanese martial art. But he soon realized that he wanted to change direction, following in his dad and sister’s footsteps of playing rugby.
“Growing up in England, most of my friends hated rugby,” Connor told us. “They only wanted to play soccer, so I spent most of my free time playing pick-up rugby before I started playing competitively for my high school.”
Connor has been playing rugby competitively ever since, appearing on teams such as the Canterbury Rugby Football Club in the National 2 level, USA U20 team for the 2014 Junior World Rugby Trophy competition and the famed Old Blue Rugby Football Club here in New York. Now, Connor has reached professional rugby, where he regularly competes against the best rugby athletes in the country.
David Shotton, an Old Blue teammate, introduced Connor to Oliver James Associates, where the young Wing currently works full-time. He was hired as a Data Entry Clerk, and quickly rose the ranks to become a Recruiter. His hard work earned him a promotion to Delivery Consultant, where he sources, interviews and places candidates for various career opportunities.
Connor loves representing New York City on a squad with a “very diverse and well-rounded background.” RUNY’s roster includes players from England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and various parts of the U.S.; a diversity that, according to Connor, is quintessentially rugby.
“It’s what rugby is about, it’s what makes us a unique sport,” he continued. “You get to learn a bit about different teammates and their cultures.”
It’s also great to have fellow Brit Ben Foden on the team. Fodes, as he’s affectionately called, has been a “positive addition to the team” and Connor has had “great fun learning from him.” Foden comes with an extensive and internationally acclaimed rugby career, but Connor had to remind him daily when the subway came to his stop on the ride home from practice. These two have a great relationship, which is one example of the overall close-knit bond the team shares.
With next season on the horizon, Connor is ready to jump back into his normal routine of balancing work and rugby. A typical day would be a 6AM physical therapy session, work from 8AM to 6PM, mixing in a workout during his lunch hour, and then straight to practice until 9PM. With the new season underway, he hopes the team will maintain their synergy from last year and compete for an MLR Championship. As an individual player, he hopes to continue developing his skills and play at the highest level of rugby.
Despite a jam-packed lifestyle consisting of a career at Oliver James Associates, coupled with his budding professional rugby career, Connor still finds time to relax. Whether it is grabbing drinks with friends, or taking fitness classes with fellow rugby athletes, he adds a lot of energy to the RUNY camp. He even claims he is funnier than Mark O’Keeffe.
Check out Connor and the rest of “The Roosters” once the 2020 Major League Rugby season kicks off in February.
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