James Hilterbrand

James Hilterbrand 2


Name:  james Hilterbrand
Date of Birth:  21/05/1989
Place of Birth:  Adelaide
Height:  184cm
Weight:  110kg
Position:  Hooker
Rep Honours: USA Eagles, Western Force, Edinburgh and EP Kings in South Africa
Junior Club:  



So, tell us about your playing career – when did you pick up a rugby ball, and what has happended since?

U6’s. My Dad is american and he played because he wanted something similar to NFL. So I followed suit, I think he liked the idea of dropping me off on a tuesday and thursday and having a few schooners whilst i trained. I think my ears since then have slowly began resembling a dried apricot, my knees have slowly turned into rusted hinges but I’ve met some awesome people and travelled to some unreal places.

So, tell us about your playing caree

Just the old fella, he was a lanky second rower back in the day of leather balls, no line out lifting and sweet moustaches.

How has your preseason been progressing – are you where you want to be?

I’ve mostly been overseas with the USA eagles for preseason. After NRC last year we had our November tests, I came back and took a couple weeks off to water my cactus then got into the last couple weeks of preseason in december. MY first session back was our military one on a saturday, 3.5 hrs and individually we did something like 500 burpees, i needed a wheelchair the day after. I’ve just gotten back from another USA tour and gotten straight back into it and the boys are ripping in!

What are your personal goals for the season?

I think I went into last season a little too result focussed, there was a bunch of us chasing professional contracts coming off either injuries that stopped guys resigning or contract cock ups like mine with the southern kings. We were playing for a contract each game and probably not enjoying it as much as we should. This season I really just want to get back to enjoying my footy, not over playing my hand and seeing us back at the top of the table where we belong by not putting so much pressure on ourselves.1

Outside of the derby, what fixture are you looking forward to most and why? Or which team do you look forward to playing and why?

Norths. Those pack of mongrels are the bench mark this year in many ways. It sours me to say that but they have proven themselves and deserved the title last year. After playing Rays with the coach Simon “Captain Intense” Cron and all the guys from Norths who were in the team it’s for sure rebuilt a rivalry that sort of faded a few years ago. Con Foley has a massive target on his head for being so cheeky to live in Manly but decide to pay for Norths.

Biggest rugby moment/achievement so far?

Its really hard to pinpoint one, my first contract with the force was a massive deal because I’d worked so hard for so many years to earn that and achieve my goals. Playing against the Lions that same year, winning Iron Man (best trainer) at Edinburgh Rugby, winning the ARC just now. I remember one time I stepped a guy in training too, he was an academy player and will probably never happen again.

Biggest Hurdle and how you overcame it?

Tough one, just like above playing rugby is full of hurdles. Moving up to sydney on my own from adelaide as a 17yr old to try and be the first born and schooled South Australian to play super rugby. I had no idea at the time what I was in for to be honest! Injuries, too many to list but thankfully the timing of them and the severity didnt keep me out for too long. Probably the most consistent hurdle is just selections, week in week out your ego is measured and ranked by the coach, whether you are selected or not. Its very very easy to let this effect your self esteem and how you see yourself. 

Best attribute as a player? Or worst?

haha probably my raw speed and athletic running style.

What’s your day job and how do you balance the two?

I work for Paladin Sports, bloody ripper of a family owned kit company. I’m the Head of Australiasian First Impressions and Chief of Morale. Paladin is owned by some amazing fellas who are really flexible and allow me to give and take with footy. They allowed me to mix in working and to play for the Waratahs last season, and 4 tours so far with the USA Eagles. Cant say enough about the company and the people in it, I owe them a high five and a firm handshake.

Which team mate would be voted off Big Brother first and who would win?

Probably Nick Holton because he is a passenger and quite boring. Etha Uilli would probably win because he doesnt own shirt and hasn’t eaten a carb since the TRex flew the coup.

Player with the best work ethic and why?

Everyone is going to say Kotoni Ale here, his injuries have dealt him a terrible hand to play. He’s worked through his rehab amazingly, kept the same passion and burn to play and has a pretty incredible resolve

As a player, what do you need to improve?

I think just intuition and awareness, the biggest thing that separates players is not the physical but more so what they see on the field then what they chose to do about it.

Favourite Meal?

Mums Chicken Schnitters

Three special dinner guests?

Ayrton Senna, Harvey Spectre and Iron Man

Desert Island Discs?

Soundtrack to Topgun
Dragonball Z theme song

Who at the club has the best/worst banter?

Brad Meaney Circa 2011/12 had some good chat, its died off significantly since then
Russel Lane (Sam Lanes alter ego) has the most ruthless chat, I’ve seen him tear strips off a statue before for being too “rigid and stuck in its ways"
Ethan Uilli has the most outrageous instagram account I’ve ever seen, I’ve offered to buy him a shirt but he says his upper body is allergic to cottons and polyesters
I can’t understand Adrian Halls chat because he speak mostly in Maori

Best/worst dressed?

Ethan Uilli because he doesnt wear shirts
Tom Mooney in just budgey smugglers and cricket pads was a sight to behold
Everyone will probably say I’m the worst dressed but its only because I wear what my mum buys me because she’s treated to hit me with here massive tupperware collection if i don’t wear them  

If you could attend any sporting event in the world what would it be?

Monaco F1

Rugby Hero/Sporting Hero/Hero?

Ayrton Senna
My Brother
Reg Ragan

Whats your nickname and why?

Cessil - my first ever grade training session, I came up a year early so I was the young fella dropping kittens. We needed a footy to do some lineouts, A coach on the other side of the field had a ball but I didnt know his name. I asked Toby Maguire (club clown at the time little did i know) what his name was, he said Cessil. So I’m yelling CESSIL across the field to get the coaches attention. His name wasn’t Cessil.
Swampy in Adelaide - apparently I look like the kid off attack of the swamp thing who got attacked
Slunyip in Perth - apparently I look like a fella who was nicknamed slunyip which is a cross between an aboriginal mythical creature and a sloth
Edinburgh - Shilterboobs
South Africa - which surprisingly has the most swearing of any country I’ve lived just called me Jamo



One word to describe you?