Azkatro - Forum Sevens Interview

Forum Sevens' veteran Azkatro recently announced his retirement from the game, stating that 2011 will be his final season on the F7s field. A huge contributor at multiple levels, Azkatro has a playing record that speaks for itself. Apart from playing a massive 65 games (to date) for the F7s Penrith Panthers, Azkatro is also the most capped player for Australia with no less than 22 appearances.

With the 10th season of the F7s nearing its conclusion, Azkatro has made room in his busy training schedule to have a Q&A with fellow forummer Willow.

Q: So how did you first get interested in the Forum Sevens?
A: Hmm, let me think - we're going back a few years now! My recollection is that I kind of noticed the forum section in 2003 or so, which is about when I joined the LU forums. I applied via the New Players thread (post #18 if you wanted to have a look, my application is still there). On the surface the concept of a no pressure, no frills rugby league writing competition looked like heaps of fun, and I certainly wasn't disappointed!

Q: Which Rugby League team do you support?
A: North Queensland. I grew up in Queensland so that's got a lot to do with the reasoning, but who could possibly resist the brand of football they were playing at the turn of the century?

Q: Who is the favourite player you've played with?
A: I hate to cheat, but I have to name three blokes here - the first two are LeagueNut and Paul-the-Cowboy, both teammates at the Panthers whose quality articles motivated and inspired me and taught me heaps in my formative playing years. In more recent years, madunit has well and truly made his way onto that list as well for the same reasons.

Q: Who is the toughest opponent you've played against?
A: Unquestionably has to be Thierry Henry, now known as Manu Vatuvei. In his heyday playing for the Pirates he was far and away the premier writer in the comp and I would always aspire to pull out my best work against them. I think I managed it once (this article:, but boy did I work hard for it! And he bloody well made us pay for it too. The very next game was against the Pirates again in the first finals match and they smashed us. Guess who scored an unbelievable 97? Thierry Henry.

Q: Do you have a favorite area of writing, what's your favourite subject matter?
A: I've always loved being able to sit down and write a completely surreal analysis of a current event. Sometimes there seems to be such a grind of the routine of something happening, people writing opinion pieces and coming out with the same old clich