Sam Warburton

Shake it: Sam Warburton is hailed by Lions fans after the third-Test win over Australia in Sydney

The Lions and Wales captain talks drums, dances and dreadful CDs

RUGBY WORLD: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen or heard on the pitch?

SAM WARBURTON: In a ruck, Bradley Davies shouting, “My ACL, my ACL!” That’s a serious injury so everyone jumped off him, then he got up and ran. He’d just said it to get guys off him!

RW: What jokers do you know?

SW: Bradley and Lou Reed are a double act. I sit between them in the Blues changing room so it’s always funny. Phillsy (Mike Phillips) is good fun too. On the Lions tour there wasn’t a standout but Bobby (physio Paul Stridgeon) was great; he kept morale high.

wheelie-binRW: Any practical jokes you can share?

SW: We’ve got a wheelie bin at the Blues with all our kit in. Once, Tom James got in the bin and hid under the kit, then jumped up and screamed when Dafydd Hewitt came in. He crapped himself – and it was on video.

RW: The funniest Lions’ moment behind the scenes was…

SW: Dan Lydiate, Mike Phillips and Stuart Hogg doing a dance-off in the business-class lounge at Perth airport. Lyds bossed it, taking Phillsy and Hoggy to the cleaners. Phillsy tried to do ‘pull the rope’ and ‘the worm’, but couldn’t pull them off.

RW: Any nicknames?

SW: 007 kicked off for a bit after there were pictures published of me walking out the sea alongside ones of Daniel Craig with his shirt off. It didn’t last long, so it’s just Warby really.

RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?

SW: A lift operator! No, Will Smith – I’m a massive fan of his, of The Fresh Prince and the films he’s done. He’s one person I’d like to meet.

RW: Who’d play you in a film of your life?

SW: Probably Gonzo from The Muppets – he’s got the biggest nose.

RW: If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?

SW: I was thinking about this the other day. To be invisible. Or to give Jamie Roberts his hair back!


Dinner date: Singer Beyonce

RW: Who would be your three dream dinner-party guests?

SW: Beyonce, Emily Blunt, Matt Le Blanc. The first two are fit and Matt Le Blanc is one of my favourite TV stars. He’d be good craic.

RW: Any phobias?

SW: Spiders. I changed rooms once at the Vale Hotel because there was a big spider in my room.

RW: Ever bought anything really silly?

SW: I did buy the Bob the Builder CD when I was in high school. I don’t know why. My dad would be ashamed.

RW: Do you have any hidden talents?

SW: The drums. We’ve got a Blues band. It’s in the early stages but I’m on the drums, Rhys Patchell is on keyboard, Andries Pretorius is on base, Josh Navidi is lead guitar and Lou Reed is the singer. If things go well, we’ll do the end-of-season awards.

RW: How are the plans going for your wedding in July?

SW: Good. Rachel’s done most things but she’s given me two jobs – cars, which Land Rover are helping out with, and suits, which Thomas Pink are doing.

RW: How’d you like to be remembered?

SW: I want to be a Welsh great – but I’ve got a long way to go before I achieve that.

This was published in the November 2013 edition of Rugby World. Click here to see what’s in the current issue.