U20 Dutch National Rugby Squad Just Got Upgraded!

U20 Dutch National Rugby Squad Just Got Upgraded!

Super cool that you’ve taken some time out to chat with us. We are excited and happy to hear that you have both made the U20 Dutch National Rugby Team. Well done, bravo, high 5's all round.
It's a massive achievement and shows that you both have talent and are dedicated to your craft. We are intrigued as to what lead up to the advancement into the national squad and what this means for your Rugby careers.

Nils and Naut, can you each give us a quick run down of who you are and what you guys get up to outside of the rugby world.

Nils:  I am Nils Schouten, an 18 year old sport’s fanatic. I absolutely love to workout on the field and off the field. For a sport like rugby its super important to get some gym workouts in every week, so that’s what i try to do. Outside rugby and the gym I do an Mbo4 sports course in Amstelveen at the ROC.

Naut: I am Naut 19 years old and besides rugby I study marketing. To be more precisely, it is sport marketing at HvA year 2. I really like to spend my free time with friends and family

How long have you guys been playing Rugby at ARC.

Nils: This is my 8th season at ARC

Naut: I started playing rugby when I was 6 years old. This was in Drachten, Friesland. I am playing at ARC for nearly 12 years now.

Which positions do you guys play and are there any other positions that you sometimes play?

Nils: I play both prop position and hooker. In the youth teams i also played flanker and 8.

Naut: The positions I play most off the time are Full back 15 and second centre 

What is it about the sport that has gripped you into playing it for a club and furthermore what kind of benefit does rugby inflict on your life?

Nils: I absolutely love the game and how its played, i recognize the saying that rugby is a hooligans game played by gentlemen. I love the roughness combined with the respect. 

Naut: I really like all the aspects rugby covers. Power and athletic, running trowing catching. The benefit rugby has on my life is that I have learned are not giving up and have respect!

Can you tell us a little bit about the selection process for the national squad and what you had to go through to officially get in?

Nils: When I played for the colts I was selected for u17 and u18 unfortunately I dislocated my shoulder and got dropped for the selection. Luckily our coach Sam knows allot of people at u20 because she was the scrum coach, because i worked hard at ARC and kept developing she was willing to put a good word in at the head coach of u20.

Naut: When I was asked the first moment, I was really happy. I had to make a highlight video to let the trainers see what I got. After this I had some conversation with the trainers about some long term plans about getting stronger and how I can improve on skills 

What does this mean for you now that you represent the national squad? Does this give you any foresight into playing rugby ongoing on a national level and do you see it opening up opportunity to travel and further your rugby career? 

Nils:  For me personally it's an opportunity to redeem myself after my injury and to develop more as a rugby player.

Naut: It is a huge honour to be a part of the national squad. It makes me proud and pushes me even more to give my everything. I think there will be opportunity for the future, but for now I don't know what I am going to do.

In an ideal world what happens over the next 5 years regarding your rugby careers both locally and internationally?

Nils: Ideally I get the chance to play at the highest level of the Netherlands on club level and to play for the seniors team of the Netherlands. 

Naut: Ideal situation is winning prizes with the Dutch team and also play for the men national team.

How serious are you guys about nutrition and how does it play a role in daily routine?

Nils: So at school i learn allot about nutrition so i know whats good and what’s not. At home my mom helps me with healthy and protein rich groceries. I always make sure that i get my proteins in and before a match I always focus on the carbohydrates so my body is fulled up for the match. 

Naut: Nutrition is a big part in my daily routine. This is because when I train a lot, I also need to eat a lot of protein. So every day I am trying to get all the nutrition in I need.

Can you each give us a brief idea of what you guys are eating day to day and how you keep yourselves in shape in order to manage on the rugby field?

Nils: So roughly I eat around 3000 calories per day and fill that in with kwark, milk, fruits, chicken on bread or a wrap, pastas or rice recipes. I try to eat with the most variety as possible. 

Naut: Now I am trying to gain weight so that means I have to eat a lot. This is my main focus point, just eat more. Besides that, I focus on protein. With the idea of gaining weight, I go to the gym 3 times a week as well.

How much training are are you doing on and off the field? What’s the breakdown, roughly?

Nils: 2 or 3 field trainings and 2 to 3 gym sessions plus a match. Week in week out i try to listen to my body what it needs, if we had a really though match i tend to get an extra rest dat in if my body needs it.

Naut: If a have a good week I go to gym on Monday, train at ARC on Tuesday, gym on Wednesday, train at ARC on Thursday, gym on Friday rest on Saturday and play on Sunday. And on the training days at ARC I do some personal extra with kicking on the post

We have had a lot of fun in the last couple years being able to support your club and in some way be apart of the family that exists in the club. How have you guys enjoyed having Runder on board? 

Nils: It’s lovely to have you guys as a sponsor for our club. There is nothing better than a cold beer and a bag of biltong after the match. 

Naut: Enjoyed? I love it. It is so nice to have a high protein snack after the match. A nice bag of Runder biltong is everything I need in snack.

Did you know about biltong before our relationship? If so where did you come in contact with it?

Nils: I didn’t know the product before our social media account of the team posted about it. 

Naut: No, I did not know biltong, and I was not sure about it. After trying, it is turned 180 degrees, and now I like it a lot I'm trying to convince my mother to buy more for me

Do you have any other comments about the product?

Nils: I absolutely love the product, the structure and the taste is just top tier. Also the multiple flavours are a big plus.

Naut: I have tried others, but they are far from Runder. I like the flavour a lot and I think it is nice that there are new flavours available as well.  I wish the bags were bigger so I could keep on eating.

We wish you both heaps of success in your national squad adventures and and we have loads of respect for what you’ve achieved. Keep it up, see you on the field!

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