Sunday 22 April 2018

Take 20: 'My first memory is playing an underage game on the wing. I didn't touch the ball!'

James Cannon is a big fan of Las Vegas, Welford Road and Game of Thrones
James Cannon is a big fan of Las Vegas, Welford Road and Game of Thrones

James Cannon

1: Pre-match meal? I love a lasagne and salad. Different guys have different preferences, some based on nutrition and some based on superstition. Mine is based on a bit of both I suppose.

2: Favourite player growing up?

For me it was Andrew Blowers. Although he only played 18 matches for New Zealand he had a remarkable success rate, only losing one game I think.

Of course, he was capped for Samoa before his time with the All Blacks. But it was his time playing club rugby with Northampton and Bristol that I remember best.

He was a hugely competitive player and that's what I admired most about him.

3: Best away-day room-mate and why?

I can't say I have a favourite but I certainly have a pet hate and that's snoring. I am a light sleeper and I always find I need my rest before a big game. I don't like breaking my routine.

Ear plugs are a great investment for any aspiring rugby player!

4: Who would headline your house party?

The Killers. I am a massive fan and would love to meet them in person.

5: First song they would play?

I would say 'Mr Brightside'. That would definitely get the place hopping. It is one of my favourite tunes and also a good pre-game tune.

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

My own desert island. It would obviously have to be a big win like the EuroMillions, but I can keep dreaming anyway!

7: Favourite movie?

I would have to say 'Forrest Gump'. It's just one of those feel-good movies that you can watch over and over again. It also has a pretty decent soundtrack which I listen to from time to time.

8: Favourite TV show and why?

I am really hooked on 'Game of Thrones'. It's one of those shows that you watch a load of episodes in a row.

It's also a big favourite among most of the players here so it's one that guys are always chatting about when we are travelling.

9: Earliest rugby memory growing up?

My first memory is of playing an underage game on the wing. I literally didn't touch the ball once. It's a great life that those backs have! Because of my height I suppose I was destined to find my way into the second-row though.

10: Who is the joker in the dressing room?

Dominic Robertson-McCoy.

11: Favourite holiday destination and why?

It has to be Las Vegas. There is never a dull moment in Vegas and always something crazy and unique to do there that you wouldn't see anywhere else in the world.

12: Favourite away ground to play at?

Welford Road. There is always an incredible atmosphere there. It was a place I saw quite a bit when I was playing in England and always loved it - but didn't always win there unfortunately!

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

Michael Parkinson, Robin Williams and Hunter S Thompson.

14: Most memorable moment in rugby?

My Heineken Cup debut away to Toulouse. I came on in an away game which we actually lost in 2010. But it was great to play against such high-class opposition in a close cup game.

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

No, I just try to stay as relaxed as possible and not let things bother me. Sometimes unexpected things happen before a game and it's important that you don't let external factors affect performance.

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

George Smith, I think. He is a fierce competitor and a really nice guy as it happens.

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

Sinoti Sinoti - he is an absolute force of nature and left me chasing on the pitch unfortunately.

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

I once sang on a UK top-40 single.

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

Ham, cheese and some kind of dessert.

20: Best advice you ever got?

You'll always regret what you didn't do, not what you did do.

Irish Independent

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