The Six Nations champion talks fireworks, genies and Jay-Z with Bea Asprey…
RUGBY WORLD: Who did you share a room with during the Six Nations?
Ben Youngs: Tom Croft. We get on great but he breathes really heavily when he sleeps. And his hair always looks the same, which annoys me! Before he came back from injury I was rooming by myself. I could do what I wanted, go to bed when I wanted – it was lovely!
RW: Would Crofty say you’re a good room-mate?
BY: Of course! I’m very relaxed and don’t mind what we watch on TV, I’m clean and I don’t snore either!
RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?
BY: It was pretty funny when Tom Palmer got knocked out in the game against France. He was all over the place!
RW: Tell us about your England initiation…
BY: I’m not a very good drinker so I only managed a drink with about five of the squad. And I sang Who the F*** is Alice? And had beer lobbed all over me.
RW: What about any good practical jokes?
BY: Tom Croft and I once went over to Floody’s house at 1am and set off a load of fireworks outside his house! And once a load of the boys came over wearing Balaclavas, put a sack over my head, and shoved me in the back of a van and drove off. Will Skinner was driving and he got stopped by the police and had to explain it all to them!
RW: What three things would you take to a desert island?
BY: A genie, so I could have three wishes. Megan Fox, in the hope that in time she’d see the light. And a donkey, because it may come in handy with manual labour. The first thing I’d wish for, though, is a yacht so I could spend time with Megan.
RW: If your house was on fire, what three things would you save?
BY: My mobile or laptop. My dog Nessa – she’s a Shar Pei crossed with a basset hound and is all wrinkly! And, lastly, photos.
RW: Any phobias?
BY: Snakes and sharks, so I get very scared in foreign countries. I actually went shark diving in Australia, which was awesome, but I was terrified!
RW: What are your top three albums?
BY: Jay-Z, The Black Album or The Blueprint. Only By The Night by Kings of Leon. And any Christmas CD. The latter really get me in the mood. My favourite song is I wish it could be Christmas every day.
RW: Any bugbears?
BY: People who invade my personal space. And referees, but only when I’m playing of course!
RW: Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
BY: Karl Pilkington. He’s hilarious!
RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
BY: I’d like to be able to teleport. It’s a green, eco-friendly way of travelling and you’d get there very quickly.
RW: What’s your dream car?
BY: Some sort of Aston Martin. I know, that’s not very green is it!
RW: What couldn’t you live without?
BY: Food. And my iPhone because I’m always on my apps. My favourite right now is Cut the Rope.
RW: How do you switch off from rugby?
BY: I go to the cinema or eat out with mates. I’m a country boy though and like the freedom of my parents’ farm, or being by the coast where I grew up in Holt in Norfolk. I don’t like living in the city.
RW: Who would play you if a film was made of your life?
BY: Ashton Kutcher. He’s the first guy who popped into my head!
RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?
BY: Scalextric. It was a pointless buy because I’ve only used it once!
RW: How do you want to be remembered?
BY: As someone who loved every minute of playing for their country.
This article appeared in the May 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine.
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