Scarlets and Wales centre Jonathan Davies talks pub classics and wrestling his brother in this offbeat Q&A

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Downtime with Scarlets and Wales centre Jonathan Davies

Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?

Someone entertaining. I like listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast. He’s a comedian, talks about MMA and does Fear Factor, an American TV show. I think he’d be entertaining.

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

Martyn Williams told me the Champagne doesn’t get handed out on Tuesdays. It’s about preparing well, but you’ve got to be ready to go come match day.

What does the Wales shirt mean to you?

It’s the history that has been in the jersey beforehand – you’ve grown up with it. I was taken as a young kid to watch Wales play and wore my jersey with huge pride. You think about the people who have worn the jersey and how you have a responsibility to it – you don’t want to do it an injustice. There’s pressure that comes with it.

When I come back in (to the changing room) after the warm-up, I look at the jersey and have a quick think about those people who are important to myself and my family, and that puts
me in a good place before the game.

Scarlets and Wales centre Jonathan Davies

If the shirt fits… Jonathan Davies models the Wales jersey (Huw Evans Agency)

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

This will have to be to do with Lou Reed. I’ve heard him barking at people. He and Bradley Davies come up with stuff together.

Who are the jokers with Wales and Scarlets?

Rob Evans is one. My brother (James) thinks he’s a joker and tries to be a joker. They go a long way to being the main jokers in the team.

What about practical jokes?

It’s generally just scaring people. You’ve always got to be on your guard and watch around corners. It’s a brilliant atmosphere to be part of and we’re very lucky with that at Scarlets. We know when to work and when it’s time to have a good laugh. That comes across on the field as well.

Do you have any phobias?

Obviously snakes and spiders. Spiders in the house are fine, it’s the big things you see outside.

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

Leigh Halfpenny – he’s got the biggest bank account!

What are your bugbears?

Having no manners really annoys me. I was taught by my mum and dad to say please and thank you, so I pick up on manners.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

To fly. That would be pretty cool. I love Barbados so could go there.

Who would be your three dream guests at a dinner party?

Tom Brady – I love how he’s been able to stay at the top for so long. He was the 199th NFL Draft pick and became the greatest player ever to play American Football. And I support the Patriots.

Scarlets and Wales centre Jonathan Davies

NFL star: Tom Brady in action for the New England Patriots (Getty Images)

Mark Wahlberg – I imagine he’d have cool stories from back in the day and in Hollywood. And Emilia Clarke – ‘Mother of Dragons’ from Game of Thrones.

What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?

When I was younger I ordered a Patriots jersey, with my name on the back, from America. I thought it would be fine, about £20, but it was more than £100 to get it imported. I was about 12 and my dad made sure I learnt my lesson.

What’s the best photo on your phone?

I’ve got one of me and Sir Alex Ferguson at Cheltenham. I sent it to my brother and he said: “F-off”!

My brother and I have season tickets at Man U, so Ryan Giggs knowing my name was great and meeting Sir Alex was another level again.

Tell us the Ryan Giggs story…

When we played England in 2014 at Twickenham, Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand were there and went into the England changing room, then Ryan Giggs came into ours. He knew my name – I was like a kid at Christmas!

What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind?

WWF/WWE from 1996-2003. Me and my brother spent a lot of time watching wrestling videos when we were younger. We lived above a pub and would make such a racket wrestling
that the people downstairs eating dinner would hear us sparring.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Food-wise, I love chocolate, but my guilty pleasure is Tina Turner. I like Steamy Windows and I Can’t Stand the Rain. Growing up in a pub, there was a jukebox so on Saturday nights there would be a lot of Tina Turner and Queen – Queen isn’t a guilty pleasure.

What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?

Employment. Mum would be happy!

This article originally appeared in the December 2018 edition of Rugby World.

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