Donncha O'Callaghan

Rugby World caught up with the Irish and Munster lock about all things comical. His phobia of cotton wool, being a brutal singer, taking ducks into a Munster management meeting and the infamous Cardiff game. [Clip Below]

RUGBY WORLD: You’re known as a big trickster. What’s the best practical joke you’ve ever played?

DONNCHA O’CALLAGHAN: I suppose the best one was taking ducks into a Munster management meeting, but I had to clean up their mess afterwards so it was the best and the worst. It was funny for four or five minutes but two hours later when I was still cleaning up duck s**t, I’d had enough of it.

RW: On the Lions tour, didn’t you pull down Alastair Campbell’s shorts?

DC: That was Paul O’Connell but I get the blame for it because I’ve got the rep. Campbell deserves everything he gets, he’s a joke shop! We didn’t know him that well over here before the tour – in Cork he’s not big news – and we wanted to make him feel part of the squad.

RW: Do you have any ongoing practical joke battles with anyone?

DC: I try and stay clear of them. I did have one with Geordan [Murphy], but he’s one of those guys who’ll always get you back – and better. I’m trying to think of something to do for the World Cup. It’s a long time for the team to be away so I need a few ideas. At the last World Cup the lads had good craic; it’s something you need to relieve tension.

RW: What does Geordan do?

DC: He’s forever jumping on Shane Horgan. He’s on a run of scaring him and gets a kick out of Shaggy screaming like a girl. He puts a lot of work into it, like hiding in a cupboard for an hour.

John Hayes - Who knew his weakness is laughter

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

DC: An opposition player – I won’t say who – once said to Anthony Foley ‘You fat f***er’ and Axel replied with, ‘Have you not got any mirrors in your house?’. The funniest thing about it was how funny John Hayes found it; he sort of crumpled over laughing, which was contagious. That’s the best way to stop John Hayes – make him laugh.

Temper tantrums, Cotton wool, and his Lucky pants

RW: If your house was on fire, what three things would you save?

DC: SkyPlus, photo albums and my first Irish cap/Lions jersey. SkyPlus is the best thing ever. I record loads of things, but I’ve been hit by a signal failure once or twice and then I act like a ten-year-old.

RW: Who’s your ideal woman?

DC: Bar my girlfriend Jenny, TV presenter Sharon Ní Bheoláin is high on my list. She makes me watch the news!

RW: Do you have any phobias?

DC: Cotton wool. I don’t like the noise it makes when you pull it apart, that squeak. It freaks me out.

RW: What are the best and worst headlines you’ve seen about yourself?

DC: I don’t think I’ve had the best one yet. The worst ones were all about me in my jocks in the Cardiff game last season [clip below]. I won’t live it down. I still get comments about it. Munster have kids camps and there’s always some seven-year-old who’ll leap on you. If I could go back to that moment I wouldn’t do it again. They were my best pants – I’m a bit superstitious even though I like to think I’m not – and I used to wear them for every game. Now they’re ruined and their luck has gone!

RW: Do you have a karaoke song?

DC: I got a karaoke machine for Christmas. At the time I was living with three buddies and it was something I did between rugby sessions. Anyway one day they caught me practising – I was doing a bit of Enrique [Inglesias] – so I had to get rid of it. I’m brutal – that’s why I was practising.

RW: Win the World Cup or €1m?

DC: Win the World Cup. It would be unbelievable. I’ve tasted success with Munster – you can’t beat that feeling.

Check out Munster’s Twitter page

Check out his profile for Ireland

The infamous Cardiff match…

Learn more about Donncha’s teammates at Ireland…

Brian O’Driscoll

Gordon D’Arcy

Tommy Bowe