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Sevens star Dan Norton

RUGBY WORLD: What do you love about playing sevens?

Dan Norton: Playing in the sun is one of the perks of the job. You get your hands on the ball more and, especially for a winger, you get to have a lot of freedom of expression.

RW: What’s your favourite sevens destination?

DN: Hong Kong is surreal but great. The whole place is geared up for the sevens tournament and everyone takes the week off work to follow it. We got to the final last time we were there too.

RW: What are the best and worst things about going on tour?

DN: The best is the weather, culture and lifestyle. When it’s cold and snowing in England, we’ll be on a sunny beach somewhere! But the worst is being away from family and friends for weeks at a time. At times, towards the end of a trip you’re counting down the days ‘til you can go home.

Xbox mates: Dan Norton and James Rodwell

RW: What do you miss most about home?

DN: My girlfriend Samantha, the dogs and playing on my Xbox.

RW: Any phobias?

DN: I dislike seagulls and touching spiders.

RW: And bad habits?

DN: I’m very stubborn, and I don’t listen to what the boys say. I’ve not got a long attention span.

RW: Who are the jokers in the squad?

DN: Everyone has their own banter but Rob Vickerman and Mat Turner are jokers. Mat’s a very crude, small man!

RW: Can you share any practical jokes?

DN: Before the Commonwealth Games some of the boys texted me pretending to be from Nike, wanting to pay me for a photo shoot. This went on for three days, and they even made me text a picture of myself in my boxers!

RW: Who are the best and worst room-mates?

DN: In terms of the best, everyone’s on the same level but the worst is definitely Nick Royle. He’s got a massive nose and he can’t breathe through it so he snores.

RW: What are your top three albums?

DN: I don’t buy many albums but I do like Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Shock Value by Timbaland.

RW: What three things would you take with you to a desert island?

DN: Wifi, my phone, and John Brake. He’s pretty adventurous and he can’t sit still, so he’d help me pass the time.

RW: Who would be your three dream dinner-party guests?

DN: Mat Turner and Nick Royle. Nick’s like a poor man’s Karl Pilkington. And Lewis Hamilton. I’d like to find out what’s going on inside his head. I want to shake him and say, “Go back to winning!”

RW: Any superstitions?

DN: I tend to dress left sock then right, left shoe then right, but it’s more of a habit than a superstition.

RW: Any bugbears?

DN: Footballers diving. And people who say they’re not angry when they really are. Chris Cracknell is always shouting “I’m not angry!”

RW: What’s your idea of a dream holiday?

DN: Picturesque, blue seas and good food, like Bali or Thailand.

RW: What’s your dream car?

DN: A Bugatti Veyron.

RW: What are your nicknames?

DN: Denzel by the boys. And Strawberry by my dad, who’s called Aubrey, which rhymes.

RW: How do you switch off from rugby?

DN: By socialising with friends, playing Xbox with Rodders (James Rodwell) and Mat, or walking the dogs.

RW: What can’t you live without?

DN: My iPhone.

RW: What last made you laugh?

DN: I’m happy, I laugh at everything!

RW: How would you like to be remembered?

DN: As a legend, a happy, nice guy. And a millionaire!

RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?

DN: I’d like to make a million as fast as I could! But I’d spend it on a car or something and be back to square one.

This article appeared in the February 2012 issue of Rugby World Magazine.

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