We are Mark Knutt and Karen Gasbarino-Knutt, and we have been around since pretty near the beginning, right around RWC 2011, and we started running @RugbyCAN_ in 2012. Mark grew up in Sheffield UK with rugby, while Karen was introduced to it pretty much by Mark. Both love the game, own a multitude of balls and shirts and paraphernalia. We are known as being rugby-nuts (or rugby Knutts – ha ha) right down to our Number Plate RUGBNUTS. We love all our Rugby Canada teams and support England as well (and a few premiership teams, such as the Tigers!). I (Karen) have become so involved with rugby that I have written a lot about players from the Canadian teams. This led to working with (newly retired lock) Jamie and Jennifer Cudmore on their concussion Foundation @RugbySafetyNet_ . Most recently I’m working with THE performance tailoring rugby lifestyle company in Canada, Aedelhard. Pretty cool loving what you do, and Rugby United has been the catalyst! Of course, I wouldn’t be doing this without the biggest influence in my rugby appreciation….hubby. I love that we are equally as passionate about this game.
1. Fave Food - #RugbyCanMrs: Lasagna or turkey dinner, all the fixings. #RugbyCanMan: Curry! Curry! Curry! (Mrs: wait, can I change mine? Mark makes the BEST curry!)
2. Fave Drink – Mrs: Give me prosecco anytime. Man: Cider or a gin & tonic
3. TV Show – Mrs: Lost was the best show ever. Man: The Last Leg (we get it online in Canada)
4. Film – Mrs: It’s a Wonderful Life. Always. No matter the season. Man: Gladiator
5. Holiday – Mrs: Scotland. Or Cuba. Italy’s on the list. Man: Portugal or Cuba
6. Song – Mrs: Boys of Summer, Don Henley. Man: Stairway to Heaven – Led Zep, or A Thousand Trees - Stereophonics
7. Band – Oh the 80’s….Mrs: Duran Duran. Man: Stereophonics (not so 80’s)
8. Childhood Hero – Mrs: Bionic Woman or the KITT Car. Man: Spider-Man
9. Animal – Mrs: Giraffe. Man: Lion
10. Guilty Pleasure – Mrs: Tiramisu or Cannoli. Man: Dark Chocolate
1. Earliest Rugby Memory – Mrs: A long time ago I was waiting for racing to come on so I watched a bit of a Canada match. I was intrigued but I didn’t get it. Flash forward to Mark putting a game on, and I sat with him to watch. After I had driven him crazy with questions, I was hooked. By his enthusiasm and also by the different elements within the game. It’s truly the best game. I think one of his best days is the day I stopped asking questions because I “got it”. Man: watching a game on World of Sport on a Saturday afternoon, listening to Eddie Wearing. Yes, it was rugby league but I was fascinated.
2. Best Rugby Memory – Mrs: Anytime we have been fortunate to cover Rugby Canada in the press room. Not to name drop but it was so cool when Conor O’Shea, in the press scrum post Canada v Italy match, mistook me for Rugby United Italy and started speaking in Italian to me. But overall it has to be getting to attend Canada v Romania at World Cup. We decided to take the plunge last minute, and I am so glad we did. Amazing. Man: pulling on my school’s rugby union teams jersey for the first time!
3. Fave Player and why – Mrs: Ben Youngs because basically he was the first name and face I could remember one game to the next, and I pretty much have watched him grow up on the pitch. Like the ninny I am I cried when he became a dad. As if he were my nephew or something. So very very lame, I know. Man: Brian Moore. Loved his 'bulldog' temperament.
4. Fave Stad – Mrs: Twickers is my dream. My boss went to London and took a picture of the sign in the tube for me. I really have it bad!! Man: Twickenham of course.
5. Best Game Ever – Mrs: Any game live. But in terms of viewing, watching the Big Lions win in 2013 in a pub in Scarborough UK with Mark and his son has to be the highlight for me. We don’t get those crowds here in Canada. In Canada the best match was Canada v Ireland. O’Mahony was Ireland’s captain. BMO Field was at capacity. The crowd was absolutely amazing. Man: England beating the All Blacks in autumn 2012.
6. One Law I’d Change – Mrs: Get that Blue Card (head injury) up Here. Man: putting the ball into the scrum straight.... no one does it anyway! So, change it to: “put the ball in any old how!!”
7. Club’s One to Watch – Mrs: Andrew Coe for Canada. Not just because I am working with him at Aedelhard. He’s Canada’s version of the Academy player, as fast as DTH, and ready to take off in a big way. Plus, he’s wise beyond his years and a super nice guy. Man: Tommy Taylor
8. Fave Kit – Mrs: Scotland’s 6 Nations Shirt 2015. Or Quins. Man: Quins!
9. Dream Signing – Mrs: Leigh Halfpenny at Tigers? Man: Joe Marler to Tigers! Or to any Canadian team for that matter! If only he were eligible……
10. Why am I #rugbyunited? Mrs: Because I love you guys. I love what RU represents. I have truly made some wonderful friends who will always be friends. Also, I sort of feel like part of the furniture now. I couldn’t go. I have too much to say about rugby and how it’s growing (or what’s preventing it) in Canada. Man: Because its opened so many doors for the Mrs and I. And we've meet many fantastic people connected to #RugbyUnited.
Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or ten duck sized horses? Mrs: I would play with 10 duck sized horses and build them a wee pen to hang out in. I could not fight a horse of any nature. I realize that’s the most lame answer ever. Man: I'd take my chance with the horse sized duck. Imagine the size of the Chinese crispy duck meal you'd get outta that guy! Nominees: It’s only fair to call out the #TigersFamily on this one. So @RugbyTigers and I think the RU world needs to know more about @RugbyFRA and @RugbyRotherham!