Two left feet: Gavin Duffy (centre) is not gifted in the dancing department

 The Connacht full-back has an off-the-wall chat with Sarah Mockford

RUGBY WORLD:  First up, Gavin, do you have any nicknames?

GAVIN DUFFY:  Just boring ones like Gavlar. At Harlequins, Mel Deane called me Crazy Legs because of my running style.

RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?

GD:  I’ll play it safe and say my wife and child, Sara and Jessica.

RW: Do you have any party tricks?

GD:  Singing badly and dancing badly – that’s it. I can definitely do both, but I do them badly.

RW: What’s your guilty pleasure?

GD:  A biscuit with a cup of tea – whatever’s going.

RW: Do you have any bugbears?

GD:  People who stand up to queue for a flight at the airport that isn’t even there yet.

RW: Any phobias?

GD:  Rucks!

RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?

GD:  Sunglasses. They don’t fit and just don’t work with my nose.

RW: Who are the jokers at Connacht?

GD:  Paul O’Donohoe does good impressions. He’s pretty sharp at picking up accents and he can do the players and management – no one’s safe. He’s got lads in early for training before by calling them up and doing an impression of one of the management.

RW: Anyone else?

GD:  Mike McCarthy just has a different sense of humour. He’ll do fake falls, pretend to trip up and generally try to embarrass people in his company. He doesn’t get embarrassed himself, so it’s about embarrassing the people he’s with. You never want to walk into a room ahead of him. If you go into a shop or a cinema ahead of him, he’ll shout “Hello everybody!” from behind you and then disappear, so it looks like you said it and wanted to announce that you were there.

RW: Are there any practical jokes you can tell us about?

GD:  A lot of the boys live in Galway and around Halloween cars across the city belonging to members of the squad were egged. It clearly wasn’t a random attack, but no one owned up so we had an investigation! Only one or two cars hadn’t been egged, so that narrowed it down and there was payback. I won’t say who it was in case it flares up again, but it was pretty funny.

RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?

GD:  There was one instance when we were playing Rovigo in Italy and the referee called out a substitution, “Red six, red six, you’re off.” Mike McCarthy started to walk off the pitch and the referee said, “No, red six.” Mike looked down at his shirt and said, “Oh yeah, we’re playing in green today.” We’ve never worn red and the referee looked like he was thinking, ‘This is weird’. We know Mike tends to come out with stuff like that, but no one else gets it.

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

GD:  Homer Simpson, Will Ferrell and Frank Sinatra – he could get a sing-song going.

RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

GD:  We were talking about this the other day. On An Idiot Abroad, the guy (Karl Pilkington) came up with a good one. He wanted to be Bulls*** Man, so he could go anywhere at any time when someone was talking crap and shout ‘Bulls***’. And because he was a superhero it would be a fact that it was bulls***. I’d want to be invisible. Actually, I’d like to have a stunt double to do the contact work in training!

RW: What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind?

GD:  Gaelic Football in the 1990s. I still follow the sport now.

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

GD:  Just a healthy and happy life. I’ve got a commerce degree and I’m finishing off a sports fitness and conditioning course, so it’s about looking at my options and keeping an eye open for opportunities.

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

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