The Eagles back-rower talks about New Orleans, spearfishing and pre-match songs
Downtime with… USA No 8 Cam Dolan
What is it like on national tours?
In August we were in Fiji, which was fantastic. The people were lovely and the food was delicious. Everything was fresh, which was awesome because you know we love our processed food in America!
We went to one of the national rainforests and there were lots of waterfalls and pools you could swim in.
You played for Northampton and Cardiff Blues. Where is home now?
I’ve been in New Orleans since December. It’s the home of Mardi Gras and blues and jazz reign as king here. It’s known for music and primarily it’s Cajun food. The city is a bit rough round the edges but there’s so much good culture.
What do you want to do after rugby?
I want to get into commercial real estate. Not buying and selling but the agent side of it. It interests me because you’re talking to new people all the time, you’re not stuck in an office, and trying to get someone to buy or lease something almost has that competitiveness to it.
When you lived in the UK, what did you miss about the US?
I’m from south Florida where it’s warm most of the year – they call it the Sunshine State. Living in the East Midlands and Cardiff I missed the weather and Caribbean food. By that I mean Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican. You guys have Jamaican food but no Cuban sandwiches.
Any pastimes you missed?
Fishing and spearfishing are two of my favourite hobbies. It’s tough to do when you’re smack dab in the middle of the country. I like diving under the water and shooting fish like grouper or snapper. You can shoot lobster but I prefer diving for it. I did that down in Turks and Caicos.
What was your worst-ever job?
I was a busboy in a barbecue restaurant. Then I was a waiter in a diner. But working in McDonald’s for two weeks when I was 15 was probably my worst job. I got no tips and I had to be in there at 5.30am at the weekend.
Do you have any superstitions?
I have four or five songs I listen to in the same order, before I warm up. It includes Dreams and Nightmares by Meek Mill and Purple Lamborghini by Rick Ross. They are what you’d call ‘trappy’ songs.
Any funny on-field moments?
Thretton Palamo recently had his first game with the US in three years. He was trying to change his studs before the anthem. He finally got them in, runs out and forgets he’s still in his warm-up top. He’s halfway out and we’re saying, “Don’t you need a jersey?” He almost missed the anthem.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I’ve been told I’m a pretty damn good cook. I’ll cook whatever you want! I’m pretty good with breakfast, anything seafood related and I make good Mexican street tacos.
What winds you up?
Being woken up before I have to wake up. If my alarm is set for 8am and someone is making noises at 6am and wakes me up, that bothers me. Or a super-early phone call. I’m really into my sleep and if that gets broken it’s a struggle for me.
Your three dream dinner guests…
Tiger Woods, because he’s got this dry sense of humour and he’s one of the best ever to play golf. I’d then bring back Johnny Cash and Thomas Edison.
How many inventions did Edison come up with?
He invented the light bulb! Where I was raised there’s a big museum for him and as a kid we always had field trips there.
If you could be any team-mate, who would you be?
I’d go with Ruben de Haas because he’s 20 years old and with the experience I have now but being 20, that would be quite valuable.
What would you save in a house fire?
A toss-up between my golf clubs and my PlayStation. The clubs as they are a bit more expensive and are worn in – I know what I’m getting out of them.
Your guilty pleasure?
Taco Bell, 100%.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a good team-mate who worked hard and brought out the best in everyone.
This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Rugby World magazine.
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