Exeter Chiefs fly-half Henry Slade talks Taylor Swift, OCD and snakes

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?
Probably Ben White getting his shorts pulled down in the middle of a game. And he wasn’t wearing any pants…

Who are the jokers at Exeter Chiefs?
Kai Horstmann, Carl Rimmer, Greg Bateman and Ben White are the main four. It’s mainly banter but it’s pretty severe, close-to-the-bone stuff.
Do you have any nicknames?
The standard is Sladey, but also Rusty because my hair goes a bit ginger in the summer.
Do you have any phobias?
Snakes. I held one when I was a kid and I hate what they feel like. It’s their texture and the way they move – I don’t ever want to see one.
What about bugbears?
The lids being left off things like toothpaste. Sam Hill is the worst at it. And he never brings deodorant or toothpaste – he relies on me. It’s little things like that!
Who’d be your three dream dinner party guests?
David Beckham – he’s cool. Rachel McAdams (actress) because I used to fancy her when I was younger. I can’t think of anyone else so it would just be those two.

David Beckham

Fans’ favourite: David Beckham is greeted by fans at an awards ceremony. Photo: Reuters

Do you have any superstitions?
Quite a few but they’re hard to explain. I’m quite OCD so pretty much everything in life has a routine. Everything has to be done left first and then right, but that’s just the start. It’s too detailed to go into and if something isn’t right I’ll start again. Like if I’m packing clothes away, everything has to be folded in the same perfect symmetry. And my wardrobe is colour coordinated.
Do your team-mates try to mess things up?
Yes! When I lived with a few of the boys they would go into my room and mess it up. I’d have to start tidying up straightaway.
If you could be any of your team-mates, who would it be?
It would probably be Dave Ewers because I’d like to be really strong.
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
I’m sure there are lots but I can’t think of any. Probably missing a conversion from in front of the posts this season against Newcastle. It was bang in front of the posts!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Super-strength. That would be really handy in life.
Who’d play you in a film of your life?
Brad Pitt. He’s a cool guy and I like to be perceived as being cool.

Henry Slade

On the ball: Henry Slade trained with the senior England squad during the Six Nations. Photo: Getty Images

What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever bought?
I don’t know if it’s silly, but I bought this big, soft chair for the corner of my room. It was a lot of money and afterwards I thought ‘Why have I done that?’ But I do use it.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Taylor Swift’s music, and pancakes with Nutella and whipped cream.
Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
Ben White – only he’ll know why.
What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?
To be honest I’ve not thought a lot about it but I probably should come up with something.
How would you like to be remembered?
Just as a nice guy who worked hard and was alright at rugby.

This article appeared in the May 2015 edition of Rugby World. For the latest subscription offers click here and to download the digital edition click here.