Full Name: Shelby Lin
Hometown: East Setauket, NY
Position played: Scrumhalf
All Blues since: Fall 2018
When and how did you first start playing rugby? What got you into it?
Shelby: Freshman year at Harvard. I played soccer in high school and when I decided not to play for a varsity college program, I knew I needed something highly competitive and intense. At the activities fair I went straight to the rugby booth.
Do you have a philosophy/mindset when you practice and play rugby?
Shelby: I am always trying to create good, fast, free-flowing rugby - for myself and everyone I’m playing with and against.
How did you first find out about the All Blues?
Shelby: I moved out from NYC, and knew I wanted to play in the WPL. My first WPL nationals in 2015, I remember watching an amazing game between the All Blues and Glendale, I believe. This is my first real season as an All Blue!
What is one of your best memories thus far as an All Blue?
Shelby: Our first WPL game this season was a ton of fun; it was amazing to experience the gritty, no-holds-barred playing style of this team. I like the team’s truly welcoming atmosphere and the energy and positivity we have.
Is there a particular player and/or coach that has influenced your development as a player? Shelby: I’ve had amazing luck with coaches throughout my career. Bryan Hamlin, former Providence head coach and NRU23s coach, was head of Radcliffe Rugby when it was a club team at Harvard my first few years, and let me talk my way into moving from the back 3 to flyhalf. Sue Parker coached Harvard in its first varsity year when I was a senior and encouraged me to make the move to scrumhalf if I wanted to play at a higher level. James English taught me how to really play the position from a tactical perspective and continues to mentor me to this day. Tiff Faaee modeled great leadership while captaining NYRC last year on our championship run.
What is the best advice you have ever received about playing rugby?
Shelby: Focus on developing your strengths (good advice for life, too). I think players can get really down on their weaknesses and spend a lot of energy addressing them, but when you think about great players they’re known for their particular strengths and skill sets, not for bringing their weaknesses up to mediocrity.
Who’s your favorite rugby player/team to watch?
Shelby: Kendra Cocksedge, the Black Ferns scrumhalf, can single-handedly shape and direct a game like no other. I try and learn from Aaron Smith’s style of play. Faf de Klerk is always fun to watch since he is completely fearless on defense.
What is your favorite non-rugby activity?
Shelby: Sleep, closely followed by eating.
If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be?
Shelby: Garden Creamery’s non-dairy mango sticky rice flavor
Most memorable thing for which you’ve gone to Kangaroo Court for?
Shelby: Booking a “roach palace” motel in Atlanta for the team. It was as bad as it sounds.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Shelby: I’m a cat-lady.