The England centre has an off-the-wall chat with Sarah Mockford
RUGBY WORLD: Do you have any nicknames?
BRAD BARRITT: My family call me ‘Dub’ as I was the double of my dad when I was young. The England guys call me ‘Shovel Face’, which isn’t very nice. I’m not too fond of it, but if it raises the spirits of other players I’m happy to go with it.
RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
BB: It would be pretty cool to be invisible. I could find out all the things I wanted to know but have never been privy to. I could sneak into secret CIA meetings and find out about Area 51.
RW: Any superstitions?
BB: Spaghetti Bolognese the night before a game. But I can’t tell you the recipe; it’s a family secret!
RW: What is your guilty pleasure?
BB: Where to start! My favourite treat is going to Borough Market and having a pork belly baguette. Monmouth coffee is exceptional and I also like the grilled cheese sandwiches. I try to refrain from going there!
RW: Who are the jokers with England and Saracens?
BB: Chris Ashton is an obvious joker and Danny Care is a good laugh. Ugo Monye is entertaining, especially with a camera. He did some filming for O2 Inside Line and was stitching people up all the time. He got James Haskell to hide in a laundry bin and when Joe Marler walked past he jumped out, giving him a massive fright.
RW: Any bugbears?
BB: Litter. Where I live in London, I often find cans from when people have had a late-night beer.
RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?
BB: Someone funny and intelligent. Sacha Baron Cohen or Will Ferrell.
RW: Who would be your three dream dinner-party guests?
BB: First of all you need a comedian, like Michael McIntyre. Then Andre Agassi – my favourite sportsman as a child. And Nelson Mandela.
RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?
BB: A head massager. It seemed like a good idea but it gave me a headache, so I’ve only used it once.
RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard on the pitch?
BB: I remember a game in South Africa. A lock knocked the ball on and someone then said to the reserve lock, ‘If the starting lock is that bad, how bad must you be?’!
RW: Can tell us about any practical jokes?
BB: We have a player development manager at Saracens, Simon Mattick, and he’s very organised. There’s a running joke that he can’t get through the day without emailing or texting you. While he was on holiday, I got into his emails and sent the boys a good luck message that sounded like he’d had six strawberry daiquiris! This is the first time I’ve divulged who it was!
RW: Any tour tales?
BB: At the Munich Beer Festival, Alistair Hargreaves ended up at a hotel 250km away! There were two hotels of the same name. He left quite early, got a taxi and it took him to the wrong one but he didn’t realise. He couldn’t get his key to work but managed to get another one, got into the room and there was a naked man sleeping on the bed! He should have stayed with the boys!
RW: Who’d play you in a film of your life?
BB: Other than Brad Pitt? I’d say Daniel Craig – he’s a very good actor and he could show all sides of my character!
RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?
BB: I’m very interested in property and venture capitalism. Matt Stevens and I are setting up a company that offers concierge services for people on holiday called Bedrooms & Bellhops.
RW: Do you have any surprising talents?
BB: Funnily enough, my wife’s Greek and I learnt the traditional men’s dance for our wedding day. My wife’s dad wanted me to do it with him. We lit whisky and broke plates.
This article appeared in the January 2013 issue of Rugby World Magazine.