European Player of the Year and Saracens full-back Alex Goode talks fancy dress, funny men and fears

Downtime with… Saracens full-back Alex Goode

Do you have any phobias?

Being burgled when I’m in the house. I’ve heard some brilliant stories recently of people being there but if that was me I’d be screaming! I’m such a deep sleeper, it’s the thought of waking up and someone’s face being almost on top of mine.

Other than that, snakes and spiders don’t do anything for me.

What annoys you?

Alex Lozowski – it’s like having a little brother, so juvenile. Also, laziness and lack of ambition.

What’s been your best fancy-dress outfit?

The Joker from Batman. I kept it quiet ahead of last year’s end-of-season do and a friend did all my make-up, so it was a massive surprise for people. The details were bang-on.

When we went to St Anton (in Austria), Duncan Taylor and I were the Wet Bandits, Marv and Harry (from Home Alone). That’s another of my favourites because of the attention to detail. I spent a long time going around charity shops to find the right jacket, then superglued feathers on it and rubbed coffee into it to get the right look.

Full kit has become a bit of a tradition after European finals. I did it in Lyon and again this year. It wasn’t the shirt I wore in the match and sweated in, but it was an exact replica as we had a second shirt I could have put on at half-time.

Fancy dress is a bit stressful now as I have to keep raising the bar!

Saracens full-back Alex Goode

Euro star: Alex Goode after Saracens’ Champions Cup triumph (Getty Images)

Who are the jokers at Saracens?

There are quite a few funny lads at the club. The most ruthless is Mako Vunipola. He loves getting into the boys for not training. Richard Barrington is the gift that keeps on giving as you can’t stop laughing at him. Duncan Taylor is quite funny when he’s awake – he’s a space cadet! He likes to jump out and scare people.

Do you have any superstitions?

I’d say no, but I’ve realised I do certain things as I’m running out, like I have to be last. A couple of young guys, like Ben Earl, have wanted to be at the back but as I’ve been here longest they can’t argue.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

I’ve got two. The first was when I was 11, playing for my local club in Cambridge. My mum used to struggle to get grass stains out of my shorts while the other kids had impeccable white ones, so she decided to bleach them. They came out beautifully white but during the first tackle they disintegrated and I was left there in my Y-fronts. My mum found it hilarious.

The second is the kick I missed against Quins in March. If you miss by a little bit it’s not the end of the world, but to shank it like that… you never hear the end of it.

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

Kevin Bridges, the Scottish comedian. He’s hilarious and would be good craic for the time we’re in there. Plus, he might have a few tinnies in his pocket.

If you could be any of your team-mates, who would it be?

Billy Vunipola. I can’t imagine anything is a struggle in rugby being that size. It must be so easy.

Saracens full-back Alex Goode

Hollywood royalty: Margot Robbie and Leonardo DiCaprio (Getty Images)

Your three dream dinner party guests…

I’d put Kevin Bridges in there. Leonardo DiCaprio – I think he’d have brilliant stories, especially if there were no cameras and he felt free to tell them.

My mum’s cooking, so she’s there. Then Margot Robbie – she seems like a good Aussie who doesn’t mind a drink and could hold her own. An American, a Scot and an Aussie… it would be fun.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Sweets. Not chocolate – I’m not bothered by chocolate – but pick ‘n’ mix.

If your house was on fire, what one item would you save?

That’s difficult. I have a picture of Muhammad Ali and Elvis in a Las Vegas hotel room. They’re both in robes and Elvis is shadow boxing while Ali has his hands in the air. It’s signed by Ali and is a really cool picture.

I’ve also got a double frame of Ronaldo and Messi, signed by them both with two good pictures.

What’s the most stupid thing you’ve bought?

I could say my hoverboard but I loved it until it got snapped by the big lads. Or the plane ticket to Moscow (for the FIFA World Cup), but I loved that too.

What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?

To be respected in what I do and to enjoy it. I don’t know quite yet what that will be.

This article originally appeared in the August 2019 edition of Rugby World magazine.

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