RUGBY WORLD: What are your summer plans?
Ollie Phillips: My mother’s getting married at the start of June, but after that the plan is to go stateside with my Leicester mate Ben Woods. We want to go to New York, then west to San Francisco and LA before we blow all our money in Vegas!
RW: What’s it like living in Paris with James Haskell?
OP: We’ve got a house in the centre of Paris. It’s different. I’m from Brighton but I’m still not used to seeing a man walking around the house half naked. He’s a loud and ‘out there’ man.
RW: Does James have any bad habits?
OP: He’s got a million. The worst one is just that he’s so anal, he’s got OCD. Everything has to be perfectly arranged and how he wants it.
RW: Have you done any practical jokes on each other?
OP: We’ve done a series of stupid videos but not jokes on each other. I’m the butt of all jokes because I can take it and James can’t! I get laid into for being follically challenged. We’re not allowed to mention James’s failings.
RW: Who are the jokers at Stade Français?
OP: Pierre Rabadan and Laurent Sempéré. French humour really escalates. One will put ice cubes in the other’s boots so when they put them on they’re wet and freezing. The other will reply by pooing in a bag and putting it in their locker! Once somebody pooed in someone’s boots before they had to run out for a Top 14 final!
RW: What are your nicknames?
OP: Benjamin Button, Pumba, Pig, Brad Pig, Dad, Grandad, Biscuit Head… the list is endless, constant abuse.
RW: Any phobias?
OP: Heights. I’ve been up the Eiffel Tower and I crapped myself. I thought I’d conquer it by doing a bungy jump in South Africa but it didn’t work. I had an emotional breakdown before it, too!
RW: And bugbears?
OP: Pernickety, tight people. When you go out for dinner and split the bill, but someone says, ‘Actually mine’s £19.73!’ Just put £20 in!
RW: If your house was on fire what three things would you save?
OP: My mobile to call the fire service. A poem called Don’t Quit that my mum gave me. And my passport to get away.
RW: If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
OP: To read women’s minds like in What Women Want. The world would be your oyster.
RW: What’s your idea of a dream holiday?
OP: I like to be active, so a bit of discovery in South America or the Amazon would be good.
RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?
OP: An elephant trunk thong. I wore it once in the privacy of my own company and I thought it looked ridiculous.
RW: What couldn’t you live without?
OP: People. I’m such a social butterfly and hate being on my own.
RW: What’s your dream car?
OP: A 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby coupé.
RW: Any regrets?
OP: Mooning my French teacher at school, running away from a taxi driver and not paying once, and not working harder for my A Levels at school.
RW: What three things would you take with you to a desert island?
OP: A chicken and mushroom risotto from Pizza Express. Van Morrison’s Greatest Hits. And Bear Grylls so he’d get me off the island. Or Sienna Miller, who’s the love of my life.
RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?
OP: I’m trying to become an Olympic ambassador for the IRB. I was involved with sevens from the start of the Olympic dream and want to help that grow.
RW: What last made you laugh?
OP: A cartoon in a French newspaper. It said, ‘The USA have published proof that Osama Bin Laden is dead.’ The picture was of the sea and a sandal floating on top of it!
This article appeared in the July 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine.
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