The Ireland fly-half turns off his poker face to chat to Bea Asprey…
RUGBY WORLD: Who’s your room-mate in the Ireland camp?
Jonathan Sexton: Eoin Reddan, a good friend from Leinster, and a non-snorer! You get to choose your room-mate for Test week, but at other times the coaches mix us up. I’ve also shared with Mike Ross, who snores! But he has lots of box sets and movies.
RW: Is there anyone you wouldn’t like to share a room with?
JS: I roomed with Gordon D’Arcy for a year but have now put in a request not to! I’m a neat freak, but he’s disgustingly messy and leaves a trail of dirty boxers from his bed to the shower!
RW: What three things would you take with you to a desert island?
JS: My phone, my girlfriend and lots of pizza. My favourite topping is pepperoni but I’m not allowed it, so ham and pineapple.
RW: Describe your dream holiday…
JS: Relaxing and chilled out; on a beach doing nothing.
RW: What are your nicknames?
JS: Johnny, Johnno, Sexto and The Rat, as I can be really grumpy!
RW: Do you have any bugbears?
JS: Messiness, bad manners and noisy eaters. Luckily there aren’t any with Ireland!
RW: Any phobias?
JS: Rats and snakes. There aren’t many in Dublin, but once we had a mouse in the apartment – that freaked me out.
RW: Weren’t you being clean and tidy enough?
JS: That’s a good point!
RW: What couldn’t you live without?
JS: My phone, in case someone’s trying to get hold of me!
RW: What’s your dream car?
JS: At the moment I drive a Golf GTI, which is pretty cool, but probably just a Range Rover. Nothing flashy.
RW: Who would be your three dream dinner party guests?
JS: Tiger Woods – I’ve always liked him as a sports person and I’d be interested to chat to him about everything he’s been through. Roy Keane, because I’m a Man United fan and he was one of my childhood heroes. And Jessica Alba.
RW: What are your hobbies?
JS: Golf, and playing poker with the lads. We’re not very good, we just do it for the entertainment in camp.
RW: Any regrets?
JS: In terms of my career, I regret a couple of games that went astray, like the Scotland game last year. But you’ve still tried your best and I try not to have any regrets.
RW: Who are Ireland’s and Leinster’s jokers?
JS: Tomás O’Leary, Tommy Bowe and Donncha (O’Callaghan) with Ireland. Fergus McFadden at Leinster.
RW: What pranks have they done?
JS: Sean O’Brien lost all his phone numbers, and they texted him pretending to be a girl he likes and arranging a date. He turned up at the pub, hair gelled and with aftershave on, and all the lads were there waiting for him!
RW: What are your happiest and saddest memories?
JS: My happiest would be winning my first cap for Ireland and the Heineken Cup with Leinster. My saddest are being injured for last year’s Heineken Cup semi-final and losing the Magners League final.
RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?
JS: Lots of things! I’d like to have a family and have a career after rugby, although I’ve not thought about that yet. And get my golf handicap lower too.
RW: What are the best and worst things about your job?
JS: There aren’t many bad things, although the possibility of getting physically hurt is the worst. The best is just being a sports person, it’s a privilege.
RW: How would you like to be remembered?
JS: Being remembered at all would be nice! As someone who gave everything on the pitch and was easy to get along with would be ideal.
This article appeared in the April 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine
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