The Falcons flyer discusses splurges, superstitions and state secrets

Downtime with… Newcastle wing Adam Radwan

How did you first pick up rugby? 

I stayed at a mate’s one night and he had rugby training the next day, so I just went with him. The first game I played was at No 8 and I didn’t have a clue what was going on, but my next game was on the wing and I ended up scoring seven tries or something like that. From then, I’ve stayed on the wing.

Do you have any nicknames? 

Most call me ‘Raders’ but I’ve got quite big eyes, so I will get called ‘Ozil’ sometimes, like the footballer. Or ‘Goggle Eyes’ maybe.

Which of your team-mates would you like to be for a day? 

Of all my current team-mates I’d like to be Toby Flood. I’d max out all of his credit cards. I’d just spend all of his money on whatever!

What’s your biggest waste of money?

We got quite addicted to Clash of Clans (the app) at the club and we had a little group. Every month we said that you had to subscribe. You had to be paying some money and buying stuff in it.

Do you have any hobbies? 

I like to cook. I go fishing quite a lot too. In the summer I went up the coast a little bit. But I’ve been all over. Newcastle is quite a good place for it because you’ve got the sea, then you’ve obviously got the River Tyne. You can do all sorts round here. It’s relaxing, especially when the weather is good.

So what do you cook when you want to impress? 

I know it sounds basic but I make the best cup of tea anyone’s ever had! I’ve also got a pizza oven so I’d make a nice pizza. Or a roast, depending on what they fancied.

What are you like in adverse weather? 

The last few weeks it’s been freezing! Training or playing, I’ll always make sure I wear my Exosuit – their under-top helps with posture as well as keeping me warm – but it’s been like snow, rain, wind. It gets really cold.

Any superstitions? 

I was thinking about this the other day, actually. I don’t have any superstitions, but… At half-time I’ll eat a packet of salt and vinegar McCoy’s crisps. Not a full packet, but basically sometimes I cramp up quite badly. I’ve looked into it loads and a few other athletes have done it, so at half-time I’ll eat half a bag. The first time I ever did it, Dean Richards gave me the funniest look ever.

Who are your three dream dinner party guests?

Probably Barack Obama because he seems pretty cool and I could ask him loads of interesting questions about stuff like Area 51 (a secret Nevada base). David Attenborough, because I really like nature. And then I should probably bring a comedian. Lee Evans is pretty funny.

We have to ask about Area 51. Do you believe in aliens? 

Not really, but there must be loads of secrets we don’t know. Obama must know all that stuff, like who killed JFK. But back on Area 51, do you remember a few years ago when it was in the news that people were going to try to ‘storm’ Area 51? (Some internet personalities converged on an airstrip in the Nevada desert.) At the rugby club we had a discussion about if you were going to pick your team of five to ‘storm’ Area 51, who would you go for?

And who did you go for? 

So my five was me, Gary Graham, Ben Stevenson, Tom Penny and Sean Robinson.

What superpower would you like to have?

It’s not really a superpower, but I’d like a portal gun like in Rick and Morty (so you can walk into anywhere). I would probably go somewhere like a bank’s vault first. Or maybe to Buckingham Palace? Nah, not there, definitely the bank vault.

What’s the best bit of advice you’ve been given? 

Gary Graham told me to never kick a ball again in my life!

Gary Graham, scoring for Newcastle, is one of the jokers at the club (Getty Images)

Who’s your funniest team-mate? 

Well, the prop Jon Welsh thinks he’s pretty funny, but he probably is so I’ll give him that. He’s in my top three with Gary Graham and Jamie Blamire.

Any practical jokes you can share? 

When Charlie Maddison came to the club as a new signing, he asked if anyone knew someone who could sort him with a car. I changed my WhatsApp to look like I was a car salesman and they gave him my number. I was sending him forms asking him stupid stuff like what his shoe size was.

I worked it for a few days, even got him to send me a happy birthday voice note for my made-up child! We do it every year now to new guys. We’ve sold cars, tried to find a house to rent. All sorts.

And finally, how would you like to be remembered? 

As someone quite fun and hard-working. And on the pitch as someone who scored a lot of tries.

This article originally appeared in the March 2021 edition of Rugby World magazine.

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