Still in his early twenties, ‘Chunk’ holds the title of the youngest Premiership captain, a big responsibilty for the Northampton Saints and England hooker who took some time out to chat to Rugby World about gaming, travelling anywhere hot and how he couldnt be any happier being surrounded by his family.
RUGBY WORLD: How often do you play computer games?
DYLAN HARTLEY: Every day. I play Call of Duty on-line.
RW: Do you play against team-mates?
DH: Yeah. Being a sportsman, it’s kinda compulsory to have rest time, so what better way than to put your feet up and play Xbox LIVE?!
RW: Does it get quite competitive?
DH: Yeah, there’s a bit of banter flying around the changing rooms. At Northampton we’ve got about ten people who’ll play on-line together. Courtney Lawes, Neil Best, Roger Wilson, Mark Hopley… Courtney is on there quite a bit.
RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?
DH: Last year, London Irish away on St Patrick’s Day, a streaker ran on the field. Usually streakers are fat, hairy men, but this was a good-looking blonde lady. There’s a photo of the teams, who were supposed to be going down for a scrum, with this lady running through the middle – their faces are funny!
RW: Who are the jokers in the Saints squad?
DH: Chris Ashton is one hell of a character. With Xbox LIVE you have a headset so you can talk to other players, and sometimes he’ll come round to my house and just sit on the mic bantering other players in his northern accent!
RW: Do you have any nicknames?
DH: Chunk, from The Goonies. The boys always ask me to do the Truffle Shuffle but I’m not going to do that for you! And just Dyl really.
RW: If your house was on fire, what three things would you save?
DH: I live with my brother, his girlfriend and their baby, so there’s three things. But if they weren’t there probably just the usual – car keys, phone and wallet.
New Zealand, Superpowers and Room-mates…
RW: Any phobias?
DH: I don’t like snakes, or deep water. But I like swimming so I don’t know how that works.
RW: Any bugbears?
DH: Bad manners, and I hate texting because I’ve got fat fingers.
RW: What’s your idea of a dream holiday?
DH: Each year I tend to go back to New Zealand to see my parents. But I spend ten months in the English winter, and then go back to New Zealand and it’s cold there. So anywhere hot really; I’ve been to Dubai and Thailand before.
RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?
DH: Megan Fox, she’s pretty hot. James Haskell would be bad – he’d use up all the oxygen!
RW: What couldn’t you live without?
DH: My family. I came all the way from New Zealand to live in this country and I still live with my brother.
RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
DH: To fly, so I could reduce the flight time to New Zealand. Or stretch time, so I could stay on the pitch longer than 65 minutes for England!
RW: Any bad habits?
DH: I bite my nails before a game, but never at any other time. It must be a nervous thing.
RW: What’s your dream car?
DH: A Jaguar XKR. I’ve just ordered one, but it’ll probably come just as I go on holiday so I won’t get to drive it! My brother heads the list of people who want to borrow it, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen.
RW: Who’s your perfect woman?
DH: My mum. I only see her for a few weeks a year, so when I go home she really looks after me.
RW: How would you like to be remembered?
DH: As a loyal rugby player. Northampton means a lot to me and I’m proud to be captain of such a great club.
RW: Who’s your best and worst room-mate?
DH: James Haskell, for both of those. There’s never a dull moment with James. He’s always on the phone, doing deals, and there are always dramas in his life! But he’s great, and I’d never swap him for sitting there and getting lonely on my own.
Learn more about Dylan’s teammates at Northampton…
…And also at England…