Sunday 16 December 2018

I love Martin Scorsese movies and Goodfellas is his best

Take 20: James Connolly

James Connolly says Bundee Aki is the best player he has ever played with. Photo: Sportsfile
James Connolly says Bundee Aki is the best player he has ever played with. Photo: Sportsfile

1. Pre-match meal?

I keep it pretty basic. I usually stick to the standard chicken and sweet potato chips with a fruit juice.

2. Favourite player growing up?

Had to be Jonah Lomu. I remember watching a documentary about him when I was a young lad playing mini rugby and being amazed at his ability. Looking back on his performances in the 1995 World Cup, he was just unstoppable.

3. Best away day room-mate and why?

That would have to be Shane Delahunt. He's good craic and we always have something to laugh about. Away trips are always the same routine so when you are in good company it makes the time go faster and keeps you more relaxed for the game.

4. Who would headline your house party?

Daft Punk.

5. First song they would play?

'Robot Rock'.

6. You win the lotto, what is the first thing you would buy?

A holiday home in the Algarve. It's a great place to spend time and one of my favourite holiday destinations.

7. Favourite movie?

For me it would have to be 'Goodfellas'. I love Martin Scorsese movies and Goodfellas is his best. It is one of those iconic movies you could just keep watching.

8. Favourite TV show and why?

'Young Offenders' on RTÉ at the minute is brilliant. The two lads in it that play Conor and Jock are hilarious. There is loads of great stuff on Netflix as well.

9. Earliest rugby memory growing up?

Wearing a GAA jersey to my first session and being told off by a fellow team-mate

10. Who is the joker in the dressing room?

Dominic Robertson-McCoy is a great story teller and has some brilliant one-liners! A few others fancy themselves as jokers, but nobody matches Dom for sheer entertainment.

11. Favourite holiday destination and why?

Probably the Algarve as it's always good weather and really relaxing. I have been there a few times now and always look forward to going back there.

12. Favourite away ground to play at?

My favourite away ground is Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester's home ground. We played there a few years ago and the atmosphere was incredible. I think we came out on the wrong side of the result on that day but it's a game that always sticks out in my mind. Hopefully we can recreate that atmosphere when Gloucester come to the Sportsground for the Challenge Cup quarter-final.

13. Three people (dead or alive) who you would invite to dinner?

Jim Carey, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Lawrence would make for quite an entertaining night I think.

14. Most memorable moment in rugby?

Beating Munster in Thomond Park for the first time since 1986. That whole season when we won the PRO12 had so many memorable, standout moments but I think that win away to Munster just showed we were a match for anybody. We did the double over them that season as well so it just showed how far we had come.

15. Do you have any pre-match superstitions/rituals?

Not really, I just make sure I'm in the right mindset and have 100pc clarity before I step on the pitch.

16. Who is the best player you have played alongside and why?

I think it would have to be Bundee Aki. He just always performs to the highest level time and time again. He is a great guy to have around the squad especially with the experience he is picking up now in Irish camp.

17. Who is the best player you have played against and why?

For me Keith Earls has to be one of the best players I ever played against. He can just create something from nothing and his incredible pace means that he is always a massive threat. Whether he is playing for Munster or Ireland he has a phenomenal try-scoring record.

18. Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?

I share the same name as the famous Irish republican leader James Connolly who was part of the 1916 Rising. He is no relation though, as far as I know.

19. Name three things that are always in your fridge?

Greek yoghurt, milk and overnight oats.

20. Best advice you ever got?

If you want something you have never had then you've got to do something you have never done!

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