freddie burns

The No 10 talks Gloucester, Grease and Gaddafi with Sarah Mockford

RUGBY WORLD: Any nicknames?

FREDDIE BURNS: It used to be Rubber Face because I pull horrendous faces when I’m playing; I can’t help but gurn. Then Tom Voyce started calling me Colonel Gaddafi – he reckoned I looked like the photo of him taken when he was killed. I’ve recently moved house to Montpellier in Cheltenham, so the guys are also calling me Montpellier Monster.

RW: The silliest thing you’ve ever bought?

FB: I bought a fake zebra head for my new flat. I thought I’d get it to put on the wall instead of a picture. It looks awesome and I chat to him all the time – I confide in the zebra!

RW: Who are the jokers at Gloucester?

Original prankster: Jonny May

Original prankster: Jonny May

FB: Jonny May knows how to wind Nick Wood up. He and Henry Trinder are always causing a bit of trouble! This is how it normally works: Jonny May winds someone up, then his kit ends up in the ice bucket!

RW: Any practical jokes you can share?

FB: Once someone’s iPad was nailed to the wall. The nail wasn’t actually through the iPad, it was through the cover, but it looked like the iPad had been nailed to the wall. For the last couple of years there’s also been a trend for putting food in people’s gumshield case so they find mouldy food when they open it up. I sit at the end of the changing room and try to stay out of all this.

RW: Do you have any phobias?

FB: I’ve got quite a big fear of open water. If I was on a boat I’d jump in, but then swim back as quick as I could. You don’t know what’s looking up at you. I’ve watched too many shark documentaries!

RW: What about your bugbears?

FB: Loud eaters – there are a couple at Gloucester. Another thing that annoys me is in public toilets when people have washed their hands and not dried them, so when you put your hand on the doorknob it gets wet.

RW: Superstitions?

FB: I wear Calvin Klein red-and-white boxers to travel in on game day. I also like to know where my family are sitting at Kingsholm – or Twickenham – so I look for them when I run out.

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

FB: I’d like to say an attractive woman. I’ll have to pick two people. I’m a big fan of David Beckham and would love to chat to him. Then… there are so many good-looking women out there… I’ll say Jessica Alba.

RW: So you’d give yourself competition in the lift for Jessica?

FB: Oh! Let’s have three people then. Megan Fox, I know she fancies Becks. That’s tactically excellent from me.

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

FB: Probably to fly. That would be awesome.

Dinner duo: Becks and Boris

Dinner party duo: Becks and Boris

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

FB: David Beckham! Boris Johnson for pure comedy value. And Will Ferrell for the same reason. They’d be good to have a beer with.

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

FB: David Beckham. He could move into acting.

RW: What’s your guilty pleasure?

FB: Probably Grease. It’s recorded on my Sky box and is a good Sunday afternoon watch. I just enjoy it – it’s good fun. I’m going to get some horrendous banter from the boys for this.

RW: How’d you like to be remembered?

FB: As someone who enjoyed himself, had fun and always played with a smile on his face.


Want to see Burns’s funniest moment on the pitch? Click here

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