Practial joker Stephen ‘Hoilsey’ Hoiles sat down with Rugby World at the end of France 2007 so we could get to know him better. We chatted about an ongoing war of practical jokes with Shaun Berne, Ricky Gervais, Karaoke and Time Travel.
RUGBY WORLD: Stirling Mortlock says that the practical joke you pulled on Shaun Berne with some photos of him in “compromising positions” is the greatest ever. Tell us more…
STEPHEN HOILES: I just decided to try and get Shaun to pose for a few professional photos [Berne thought they were for Men’s Health]. We managed to get him to pose for about 120 photos in a few different outfits – in a tight vest, with his shirt unbuttoned, modelling ties and so on. We got it all on video, put a few songs in the background and showed it to the team. He wanted revenge but I said if he went too far I’d release the photos to the media.
RW: So did he get revenge?
SH: Yeah, he got into my lounge room one day and put a kids’ swimming pool filled with goldfish in it. There were a few palm trees around as well. I decided that was too far and released the photos!
RW: Have you been part of any other practical jokes?
SH: Nothing too serious. Shaun’s younger brother, Michael, and I once followed a mate of ours when he was taking his final driving test and made things difficult for him by driving into his reverse parking space from behind him and so on. He still passed, though. We also put up signs saying a friend was having a garage sale so people kept walking into his house looking for it.
RW: There are quite a few photos of you around with sunscreen caked all over your face. Are you very careful?
SH: I probably learnt that from Berney, too, with his Irish skin! We spend a long time in the sun so why get burnt? You can still get a nice tan wearing sunscreen.
RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen or heard on the pitch?
SH: Bakkies Botha once said to Adam Freier, “Shut up you dwarf.” I found it quite funny that he was laid into for being vertically challenged!
Bryan Adams, Back To The Future and Bubblegum…
RW: Do you have a karaoke song?
SH: Bryan Adams’s Summer of ‘69. Matt Dunning and David Lyons are the big karaoke fans in the Wallabies squad.
RW: What are the best and worst headlines you’ve seen about yourself?
SH: The worst was when I’d just got back into the Wallabies squad last year after missing most of 2005 with injury. I did an interview with a journalist and he was asking me about rugby league. I love to watch it, but then he asked if I’d like to go to league one day. I said, “Who knows? I’d love to think about it but I’ve just signed for two years with the Brumbies, so it’s not worth talking about now.” The headline was ‘Hoiles fancies his chances in NRL’. It wasn’t the best timing. I can’t think of the best one about myself, but the one with the Berney pics was great. It was just ‘I’m Too Sexy’.
RW: Which person would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
SH: Ricky Gervais would be quite good. I’m a big fan of his. I love The Office and Extras – I’m addicted to it. I’m waiting for the new Extras DVD right now.
RW: If you could have one superpower what would it be?
SH: Time travel would be cool. I love Back To The Future. I’d probably go back to 1985 when I was about four and got caught pinching some bubblegum. They questioned me and I denied it, but then they checked my pockets. I don’t really remember it but apparently it was pretty embarrassing for my mum. Mum and Dad kept an eye on me after that.
RW: When did you last laugh?
SH: Watching Adam Freier doing his impersonation of knee-boarding. I get a lot of humour out of Adam.
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Check out this hilarious clip of Stephen playing Piggies vs Princesses…