The England No 8 gives the pranks a rest to chat to Bea Asprey…
RUGBY WORLD: Who are the jokers in the England squad?
Nick Easter: Chris Ashton says some daft things, but practical joking is more down to me or James Haskell.
RW: Who are the best and worst room-mates?
NE: My best was Tim Payne as we have a very similar sense of humour and sap the hell out of each other. My worst was Chris Robshaw, and his snoring now means he has a room by himself… in a different hotel. (Just kidding.)
RW: What three things would you take to a desert island?
NE: My iPhone, although it might run out of battery. A yacht to escape in, and Rihanna to escape with!
RW: What are your bugbears?
NE: Standing in queues, and small talk. Just get to the point!
RW: What are your nicknames?
NE: Minty, as the boys think I’m a fake cockney. And The General, as I’m in charge of Quins’ court and drinking sessions.
RW: Tell us one of your practical jokes…
NE: When Quins were in National One, I changed my name in Ugo Monye’s phone to Dean Richards. As usual Ugo was injured, and in those days the injured boys were sent to opposition grounds to film a game before we played them. I texted Ugo, pretending to be Deano, saying that he’d be going to Plymouth for the weekend to tape their match. He wasn’t best pleased as he had organised a romantic weekend away! He went storming into Deano’s office only for Deano (with no prior knowledge) to say: “Brilliant idea, Ugo, here’s the camera!”
RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?
NE: At Orrell one of our second-rows needed to empty himself before a game but was called to a team talk just before kick-off, and never finished what he needed to do. Twenty minutes in we packed down for a scrum and he soiled himself. The physio had to rush on with loo roll!
RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
NE: Reading minds. Knowledge is power!
RW: Any phobias?
NE: Spiders. Once in Australia I came out of an outside toilet and one followed me. Okay, I soon realised he was following my shadow, but it was still freaky!
RW: Top three albums?
NE: Alchemy by Dire Straits. The Killers – Sam’s Town. And Michael Jackson’s Bad.
RW: Who’d play you in a film of your life?
NE: George Clooney.
RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?
NE: A lift technician.
RW: Any bad habits?
NE: Plenty. But none that I’d like printed!
RW: Name three dream dinner party guests…
NE: Jack Nicholson, because he’s a legend and he’d have so many stories to tell. Dave Allen, the comedian, to lighten the mood. And Billy Joel to fill in the gaps on the piano.
RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?
NE: A red Ferrari polo shirt. I’ve taken a lot of stick over it in the past!
RW: What couldn’t you live without?
NE: My Nando’s card. I go once or twice a week. I like my chicken hot, or medium if it’s chicken livers. Danny Care goes for lemon and herb – he’s only young and still developing, I suppose.
RW: What’s your dream car?
NE: I’ve always fancied an Aston Martin DB5.
RW: How do you switch off from rugby?
NE: By playing golf, or the guitar. Living in London you’re never short of things to do.
RW: Any regrets?
NE: Yes, but I don’t dwell on them. It’s important to learn from your mistakes, though.
RW: Tell us about your happiest and saddest memories…
NE: I’ve enjoyed whatever I’ve done. But some bad memories are losing in Ireland recently and also in the 2007 World Cup final.
RW: How would you like to be remembered?
NE: As someone who gave everything on the pitch and always brought something to the party.
This article appeared in the June 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine.
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