New Zealand prop Joe Moody provides an insight into the life of a world champion

How does it feel to be a world champion?

It still hasn’t sunk in yet, but it’s pretty huge to think we’ve been crowned world champions. And away from home in the UK!

Tell us about the celebrations back in New Zealand

Airport staff were on the tarmac doing the haka before we’d even stepped off the plane. Then walking into the airport was unreal; the place was packed with fans welcoming us home. The parades in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch were huge. It was humbling to see what our achievement meant to everyone.

What were your RWC 2015 highlights?

I wasn’t in the original 31-man squad and came in for the quarters as injury cover, so to be named to start in the final was huge for me. Off the pitch, it would be having my dad, uncle and girlfriend flying over at short notice.

Who are the jokers in the NZ squad?

Sam Cane has an endless supply of jokes, some good, some not so good.

Any practical jokes you can tell us about?

We were walking back to Ben Smith’s room one night to play cards and Ma’a Nonu jumped out from under the staircase with a Scream mask on. Big Brodie Retallick went as stiff as a board and Sam Cane got the fright of his life. It cracked me up!

Ma'a Nonu

Scare factor: Ma’a Nonu breaks to score against Australia in the RWC 2015 final. Photo: Getty Images

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?

I got down-trou’ed in a maul and it collapsed with an opposition player’s face fully between my cheeks! There’s a pic of it floating around somewhere – I was the ‘butt’ of a few jokes for a while.

Do you have any phobias?

I hate to say it, but I can’t stand spiders.

What about superstitions?

Whistling at night is a no-no. In Maori culture, it’s supposed to bring back bad spirits.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

There are a lot to choose from! How about not knowing the royal’s name when he presented us with our (World Cup) medals? I just said, “G’day, mate.”

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

Jennifer Aniston. She’s a babe and I reckon she’d have good chat. I like a gal who can make me laugh.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Gosh, I dunno… You’d have to say Brad Pitt, wouldn’t you? Could he grow a bushy beard though?

How would you like to be remembered?

Not for the down-trou incident, that’s for sure!

Who would be your three dream dinner party guests?

Michael Jordan – I’ve looked up to him since I was a kid. Alan Jackson (country singer) – my favourite musician. I’m unsure of a third – probably my dad.

Michael Jordan

Sporting hero: Basketball legend Michael Jordan has a big fan in Moody. Photo: Getty Images

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Well, this is embarrassing – probably that very addictive girly TV show Revenge. It’s got me hooked.

Do you have any surprising hidden talents?

I can spin a basketball on my finger and do a few tricks. Oh, and I was also a pretty handy wrestler back in the day. Proper freestyle wrestling, not WWF style!

What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?

I’m a farm boy – that’s where my passion lies. My long-term goal is to run my own farm.

This article appeared in the January 2016 edition of Rugby World. For the latest subscription offers click here, or find out how to download the digital edition here.