Player Profile: Lior Vansteenkiste

What's your favorite UT Rugby memory?

First time playing back, I switched from Flanker/Hook to Wing. Played against TCU and got a hat-trick but I still missed playing Flanker. Also playing in 7's tournament and seeing Eddy throw up his horns as he ran in for a try in his last 7's game for UT.

Why did you start playing rugby? What are your favorite rugby memories before you started playing for UT?

A friend was playing and convinced me to come out to try it. Tried to get a couple of my friends out to play but the first practice they came to was a running practice since we were unfit the previous game. Never saw them come out again, always makes me laugh when we talk about it now.

What do you like the most about our program? How does it shape up to other programs you have been involved with?

Flexibility and willingness to work with others. UT is blessed to have students who are both intellectuals and athletes. Sometimes these things can have conflicting schedules but I've never seen any problems because our coaches are understanding. Also, we are student-run so things can be hectic but you can tell that the people who run for positions care about the team.

Favorite memory from UT in general?

Rugby has always been my favorite part of UT. From the 6 AM conditioning sessions, living in the rugby house for 2 years, and playing all of our games. Never regretted spending all my weekends and free time either playing or hanging out with rugby guys.

How has rugby shaped your Longhorn experience?

My Longhorn experience is my rugby experience. They are one and the same.

What do you plan to do once you're out of college?

Game Developer Programmer. Hopefully in Austin. I'll most likely continue to play rugby for as long as I can handle it.

Advice for new players or any rugby player in general?

As you get older, you start to realize that the connections that you are making and the people around you are rare. Don't take them for granted. I miss plenty of the older players and wish that I would've taken more time to hang out with them or even kept in contact with them after they graduated. At the end of college, you'll be working a job and most likely have the same friends for most of your life. Now is the time to make as many as you can. Looking at the old rugby footage or hype videos makes me nostalgic which is inevitable as graduation looms closer. Don't skip the chance to be with the people who can be lifelong friends because you were feeling lazy one night, invest in these people early. Rugby advice: the harder you work before the ball gets near you, the easier the rest of it is. 80% of rugby is played without the ball in your hand.

Favorite food? Weird fact about you?

Love Austin food, have tried over 50 unique restaurants here. Big fan of comics, video games (Dota 2 and Super Smash Bros Melee), I was born in Belgium to a Vietnamese mother and Israeli father. Used to play football, wrestle, rugby, and track(hurdles/long+triple jump/discus) in highschool. Secret Dictator of UT rugby(our presidency is a puppet government).

Ashwin Hareesh