Just before ‘Ducks’ moved across London from Harlequins to Saracens, he took some time out to chat about pitch antics, diy disasters and Darth Vader. Plus the North/South divide.
RUGBY WORLD: Are you looking forward to Harlequins’ ‘Big Game 2’ on 27 December?
DAVID STRETTLE: Definitely. I was injured for the Leicester game at Twickenham last year, but I was in the stand watching and it was amazing. The fact we scored in the last second to draw the game gave it a fantastic climax. It’s a great concept because after Christmas people always want things to do with the family. It should be a cracking game against Wasps this year – and at the home of rugby it’ll be even better.
RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard on the pitch?
DS: Mike Brown’s chat. It’s appalling, but he does manage to get underneath the skin of players so it must work.
RW: Can you tell us about any practical jokes at Quins?
DS: Some players got the hotel key for the coaches’ room on an away trip this season and stormed in at 3am. They didn’t have a clue what was happening as the room got ransacked and beds were tipped up. The coaches still don’t know who did it and I’m not naming names. The boys went out, but I stayed in so I was tucked up in bed!
RW: What’s the silliest item you’ve bought?
DS: Probably the Darth Vader outfit I spent £200 on, only for it to be ripped off in about ten minutes at the team social. You have to make a big effort dressing up and they did let me keep the trousers on. It was still a great day.
RW: Who is your ideal woman?
DS: It’s got to be Megan Fox or the French princess in Braveheart, Sophie Marceau.
RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
DS: It would have to be invisibility.
Flooding, Hard work and Superstar Sevens…
RW: If your house was on fire, what three things would you save?
DS: To be honest, there’s nothing there worth saving. I’d just get out of there and claim on the insurance.
RW: Tell us about flooding your flat…
DS: That was my dad’s DIY disaster. He hit the main waterpipe! Flooding the top-floor flat two weeks after moving in – it was a great way to meet the neighbours!
RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?
DS: Sophie Marceau. And Megan Fox. And… depends how big it is!
RW: Do you have any phobias?
DS: Hard work, spiders.
RW: And bugbears?
DS: Southerners! I have to bite my tongue and get on with it at Quins! The good thing about rugby is that it’s like being at school – there’s great banter. When people retire they don’t miss the rugby but the banter. If we’re talking about things that offend me, though, then Ollie Kohn’s dress sense. It’s pretty horrendous. He must get dressed with the lights off – a charity shop would turn his wardrobe down.
RW: If a film was made of your life who would you want to play you?
DS:There are loads of actors I think are pretty cool, like Johnny Depp, but I’d have to go for the guy from You, Me and Dupree – Owen Wilson. Or Robert Redford in his early days. They have slightly similar hair to what I used to have and the boys used to call me Dupree.
RW: What do you want to achieve off the pitch?
DS: I’m organising a sevens tournament in La Manga next June, Superstar Sevens, so I’d like to make it a success. A lot of tournaments now are too focused and want to be a bit elite, so they miss people who just want to play. We’re having vets, women’s and netball tournaments as well, and it definitely has the scope for being a great weekend. So spread the word!
RW: How would you like to be remembered?
DS: As someone you’d pay to watch play rugby.
RW: What couldn’t you live without?
DS: My iPhone.
Check out his profile for England
Get to know “Ducks’ and Danny Care better…
Learn more about David’s teammates at Saracens…