Prior to making the headlines about his party hard ways, Andy chatted to Rugby World about The Lions Tour to South Africa, life after rugby, and [worryingly] fake tan.
RUGBY WORLD: So how did you enjoy the Lions tour?
ANDY POWELL: There were some really good characters in the squad so there was plenty of banter. Smiler – Matthew Rees – got everyone to come up with random German words. We didn’t even know what most of them meant, but my favourite was schnitzel (cutlet).
RW: Who was your worst room-mate?
AP: Phil Vickery – he snores really loudly. I tried to snore back to wake him up but it didn’t work. Being with Melon – Gethin Jenkins – isn’t good either. He just saps your energy.
RW: You were known as the joker on tour…
AP: Yeah, I had to get up at the front of the bus and cheer the boys up, come up with a few jokes. Euan Murray was brilliant too, and he was missed when he went home. He came up with great jokes – one got him the nickname Woodeye.
RW: Did you get many fines on tour?
AP: One, for being late for physio. We fined Ryan Jones 500 rand (£40) for arriving late on tour and then 12 hours later he was flying home. That was quite harsh – but we didn’t give it him back.
RW: What are your bugbears?
AP: What really bugs me? On tour I had to weigh in every morning and rate how I’d slept from one to five. When you’re tired, you just want to have breakfast.
RW: And phobias?
AP: Spiders. We stayed in little cottages in Rustenburg and I was sharing with Stephen Jones. There were loads of spiders above us on the ceiling. We kept saying to each other, ‘Look, there’s a spider’ and couldn’t get any sleep.
RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
AP: I’d want to call all the shots on a tour so whatever I say goes.
Stupid purchases, Party tricks and Rugby League…
RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?
AP: If someone is having a bad game, Gethin Jenkins always tells them, ‘You’re having a shocker’. He said to Nicky Robinson in one game, ‘You’re breaking us, you’re crap.’ He once told me to hit more rucks and stop being so lazy.
RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?
AP: The pair of jeans I paid £380 for in Jo’burg. I thought they were expensive, say £200, but not that much. They fill your head with stuff about how good they look on and I bought them. I got loads of stick off the boys about it.
RW: What would you do if you were Prime Minister for a day?
AP: I’d shut down the country for a day and get everyone out for a massive party.
RW: Do you have a party trick?
AP: Taking my top off. I did it once on tour, just to get a few women over for the boys. Guys like Gordon D’Arcy were struggling big time so I had to help them out.
RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?
AP: There are a lot of nice women out there. I’ll say Lindsay Lohan – and a bottle of champagne. She’s a party girl and I like a party girl.
RW: If your house was on fire, what three things would you save?
AP: My dog, Barney. He’d definitely be first out. Then my bed because it’s so soft. That would be it – I don’t have much in my house.
RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?
AP: I’d like to play rugby league. The way I play, I think league would suit me. I’ve just signed a three-year deal at the Blues so I’ll see what happens after that. Outside of rugby, I’d like to open a bar in Spain, maybe with a salon on the side. Then I could get Mike Phillips and James Hook to work in it.
RW: They do like the fake tan…
AP: Yeah, those two and Lee Byrne brought a box of stuff out with them so you went to their room if you wanted any. They even got Paul O’Connell putting some on – he’s pretty white.
RW: How would you like to be remembered?
AP: As a down-to-earth, easy-going guy who’d do anything for a laugh.
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