John Barclay – Glasgow and Scotland
Posted 907 days ago
Rugby World headed north into Warrior territory to catch up with John ‘JB’ Barclay to chat about getting lost all the time, his pre-match routine, and having a short attention span when it comes to learning to play the guitar.
RUGBY WORLD: Who are the jokers in the Glasgow and Scotland squads?
JOHN BARCLAY: Let’s think, the jokers at Glasgow… probably Johnnie Beattie and myself. We maybe joke around when we shouldn’t, but we try to keep it semi-serious most of the time. With Scotland, Mike Blair. He’s not a prankster but he likes winding people up. He does it a lot behind the scenes.
RW: Do you have a pre-match routine? Any superstitions?
JB: I always go for a coffee and a crossword with Graeme Morrison. Most of our games kick off at 7.30pm so there’s tons of time to kill. I also put my left boot on first, but I think that’s more out of habit than superstition.
RW: So do you always manage to finish the crossword?
JB: For this, I’ll say yes! There are quite a few guys who enjoy a crossword at Glasgow. We just do ones in the papers.
RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen or heard on the pitch?
JB: In one Glasgow game against Munster when Ally Kellock was captain, he and Ronan O’Gara got into a scuffle and the referee called them both over. “You’re both well-known players,” he said. “Try to calm down.” O’Gara then interrupted and said, “Hang on, I don’t know who this joker is.” I’m not sure Al felt too good for a while after that.
RW: What are your bugbears?
JB: Bad directions – and getting lost in general. My girlfriend is very laid-back and we tend to get lost on a pretty regular basis. That’s frustrating. The worst place I’ve got lost is France, but that’s when I was a kid with my family.
Will Ferrell, Stupid purchases, and Life outside rugby…
RW: Do you have any phobias?
JB: I hate spiders, anything that creeps around on the floor. I’m too scared to ever kill a spider and I can’t pick them up if they’re not dead – it creeps me out.
RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
JB: It would have to be to fly.
RW: Who would you like to be trapped in a lift with?
JB: Probably Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughan, Owen Wilson – those sorts of people. They’d keep you entertained.
RW: What couldn’t you live without?
JB: TV! I watch it a lot. I like the cooking channel on Sky. I watch that quite a bit.
RW: If a film was made of your life, who would play you?
JB: Will Ferrell. He’s a funny man. I’m not, but he can add it to my personality!
RW: If your house was on fire, what three things would you save?
JB: My first cap, I’ve got my first strip framed with it as well. I’ve just got a black Labrador called Inca so I’ll save the dog, too. And my computer because it’s got all my photos on it, everything from holidays and school.
RW: What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever bought?
JB: Probably my TV. I’ve got a 42in, £1,000 TV, which was about my monthly salary when I bought it. I’ve still got it, but the same TVs are now about £400 so I should have just waited.
RW: Who’s your ideal woman?
JB: Apart from my girlfriend, Megan Fox.
RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?
JB: I’d like to get good at the guitar. I’ve had it for about two years but tend to pick it up for a couple of months, stop, then pick it up for another couple of months. So I’m always in the same place and then give up. I get frustrated because I’m not absolutely amazing.
RW: How would you like to be remembered?
JB: Probably as someone who would laugh at anything.
Learn more about Johns’ teammates at Scotland…Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.