Rugby World caught up with Welsh funnyman Mark ‘Boycie’ Jones during France 2007 to chat about nicknames, Girls Aloud, and being at war with Dwayne Peel.
RUGBY WORLD: We hear you were the victim of a few practical jokes at the World Cup. Care to fill us in?
MARK JONES: Several pranks were played on myself by Dwayne Peel and Stephen Jones at the hotel in Nantes. The first night I came back to my room and my bed was full of Weetabix, baked beans, plums and so on. The following day, there was a park bench outside my door and the beans were back as well. The next night, there were six or seven bikes in my room, some on my bed. I’d locked my door on each occasion but they obviously persuaded a maid to let them in. The bikes were the straw that broke the camel’s back.
RW: So how did you get revenge?
MJ: There was a family of sheep living in the hotel complex. They were tame and were coming up to us all the time. I decided to pick the friendliest-looking one and leave it in Dwayne’s room. It was only meant to be for ten minutes, but his meeting overran and the sheep was in there for an hour. When he came back the sheep had left a few presents! I’ve always taken these jokes in good humour, but he failed to see the funny side. He got a bit stroppy so Tom Shanklin and I wound him up, and he’s laughing with us now. I offered him a truce, said I was prepared to be the bigger man, but he wouldn’t take it and told me to watch my back.
RW: Is Dwayne a big prankster?
MJ: He looks like butter wouldn’t melt but he’s definitely cheeky. He cut holes in the crotch of all my trousers and pants, and in the end of my socks once. Wayne Proctor [fitness coach] is his No 1 target at the Scarlets, but Procts has dished it out back. And Robin McBryde once got the spare key to Dwayne’s car, parked it on the island of the Cross Keys roundabout and put a ‘For Sale’ sign in the window with Dwayne’s mobile number on it. It’s no coincidence these things keep happening to Dwayne; he’s been playing jokes for a number of years.
Boxing gloves, Bugbears and Boycie…
RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen or heard on the pitch?
MJ: During the Australia game at the World Cup, Drew Mitchell broke through the line and dropped the ball. Jonesy [Stephen Jones] told him to take the boxing gloves off. He’s quite sharp and it made me laugh.
RW: If your house was on fire, what three things would you save?
MJ: I’d probably take the Xbox because I’d need that to kill time. Most definitely my Wales caps. They’re in a cabinet so I’ll carry that on my shoulder. And my laptop because it has all my photos on it.
RW: What are your bugbears?
MJ: The wife always leaves the seat of the car pulled forward, making it very difficult whenever I get in! We have two cars and she seems able to drive both. If I was a footballer I’d waste lots of money on cars, like an Aston Martin DB9.
RW: What’s your nickname?
MJ: Boycie. When I first arrived at Llanelli, Jonesy thought I looked a bit shifty and called me Del Boy. Then in a game Dafydd James called for a pass using Boycie. He knew my nickname was something from Only Fools and Horses, but he got it wrong and Boycie stuck.
RW: Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
MJ: Excluding my wife, probably Girls Aloud. It would be quite packed in there with five of them and myself!
RW: Breasts, bum or legs?
MJ: I’m a bum guy, and legs. There’s something about Keira Knightley, and Jessica Simpson’s attractive too.
RW: When did you last laugh?
MJ: Putting that sheep in Peely’s room. No, thinking about doing it just now.
Heres a clip of his cheeky try against Leinster…
Learn more about Mark’s teammates at Wales…