Dallas Haskins finding home with SU rugby following move from Hong Kong

first_imgDallas Haskins was given a choice by his parents to stay at home or go to college in the United States.Born and raised in Hong Kong after his parents moved there a year before he was born, Haskins, like many children in the area, played rugby.“That’s what you did in Hong Kong,” Haskins said. “It’s really big there.”He could have played on the U-20 national team for the sixth year in a row to represent his country at the Chinese National Showcase. Instead he attended Syracuse to continue his rugby career at the club level.While many of Syracuse’s players started playing ruby at age 14 or 15, head coach Bob Wilson said, Haskins has the added benefit of an additional decade of experience with the sport growing up in China.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I had the opportunity to go to U-20s but I chose to go to university instead,” Haskins said. “I wanted to work afterward, and also a huge push from my parents.”Haskins moved to Syracuse right before the start of the fall semester. In Hong Kong, the sport was much more prominent. Haskins remembers playing in stadiums that seat as many as 40,000 people.Haskins began playing at a more elite level of rugby at a young age in China. He joined Hong Kong’s Valley Fort Rugby Club. He got the chance to try out for the Hong Kong national team and made it — five times. From age 14, Haskins has represented Hong Kong at the national sevens showcase, on the U-14, U-15, U-16, U-18, and U-19 teams.“Rugby is a lot bigger sport than football, basketball, so you would have a lot of people at your games,” Haskins said.Haskins could have kept playing rugby at an elite level, but he moved nearly 8,000 miles away. He said his parents gave him a choice, but wanted him to get a degree and get a job — a motive that led him to SU.He liked the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and its prestige, but he also liked the quality of the rugby program.For Wilson, Haskins represented a unique addition to the team.“Most of the United States players haven’t been playing (competitively) since they were 8,” Wilson said. “They’ve been playing since they were 14, 15, if that.”Wilson gave the freshman the chance to start, saying that he’s got the experience and athleticism and has fit in well, something he said is uncommon for someone so new to the team.As an inside center, Haskins plays next to sophomore outside center Eddie McCarthy, leading McCarthy to become Haskins’ mentor. McCarthy is impressed with Haskins’ immediate contribution to this Orange squad.He’s got the starting spot and the praise of his teammates, but Haskins remains humble, and hopes to keep contributing to the team’s solid start.“It’s a huge thing to start freshman year,” Haskins said, “so I think I’m trying to bring as much as possible to the team and put in as much effort as I can.” Comments Published on October 9, 2015 at 9:54 am Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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