Monday 27 January 2020

Take 20: 'People are obsessed about my resemblance to Gary Neville. I get asked about it all the time.'

James Mitchell

Jack Carty is congratulated by James Mitchell after scoring
Connacht’s second try against Brive last December. Photo: Sportsfile
Jack Carty is congratulated by James Mitchell after scoring Connacht’s second try against Brive last December. Photo: Sportsfile

James Mitchell

1. Pre-match meal?

Spaghetti Bolognese would be a personal favourite and I'd follow it up with a can of spinach. I know it's not to everyone's tastes and it's probably a weird combination, but I love it.

2. Favourite player growing up?

Even though he's not a scrum-half I always enjoyed watching Jonny Wilkinson. I grew up watching him lead the line for England and scoring that winning drop-goal in the World Cup final. Being from England originally he was someone I always looked up to.

3. Best away day room-mate and why?

Conor Carey is a good room-mate because he always has the treats with him. They are always appreciated even if I don't always return the favour.

4. Who would headline your house party?

I'd have to say MC Smally. He gets the party going back in Warrington.

5. First song they would play?

'That's My Name' - it's a very good song and one of his big hits.

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

I'd head off to Barbados and buy a house down there. Was there on a holiday before and I absolutely loved it, so that will do me.

7. Favourite movie?

Probably a surprising choice but I'm going to go with Step Brothers. I'd say I could probably quote the whole movie - it's a classic!

8. Favourite TV show and why?

It has to be Family Guy. I could watch it all day and not get bored. Some episodes really are hilarious, and Peter Griffin is always entertaining.

9. Earliest rugby memory growing up?

I remember playing with my brothers at Gillingham. My Dad was coaching there so it was a real family affair. Thankfully I enjoyed it enough to keep it going.

10. Who is the joker in the dressing room?

In the changing room I sit next to Naulia Dawai and Stacey Ili and they are always joking around, so I'll go with them. Unfortunately, some of their humour can be a bit hit and miss though.

11. Favourite holiday destination and why?

You can probably guess based on my previous answer, but I'll go with Barbados. The beaches are on another level. Hopefully I win that lotto, so I can head back some day.

12. Favourite away ground to play at?

The Rec where Bath play is a brilliant ground. There's always a good atmosphere there and I love the fact that the crowd are pretty close to the pitch.

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

It's probably an odd combo, but I'll go with Stephen Hawkins, David Attenborough and Margot Robbie. Some of the chats would be interesting to say the least.

14. Most memorable moment in rugby?

Winning the Six Nations with England's Under-20s was a massive achievement for me. Winning a trophy at any level for your country is a special feeling and when you're that age it makes it extra special.

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

I'm not really a fan of pre-match superstitions or rituals. I don't like having any just in case I forget to do one before a game, and I've got on well enough without them!

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

I'm a big fan of Danny Cipriani. He's very good at getting the back line going and we struck up a really good connection at Sale.

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

The best player I've ever played against is probably Anton lienert Brown. He caused us a lot of problems when we played against him, and I could see him playing an important part for the All Blacks in the years ahead.

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

People are obsessed about my close resemblance to Gary Neville and I get asked about it all the time… and yes, I am available as a stunt double. Don't tell him I've told you that though.

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

First of all, there has to be some fish. Secondly there's always rice cakes. I'd then top it off with some more fish. I really like my fish.

20. Best advice you ever got?

I was once told, "Never fight with a pig because you get muddy and the pig likes it". Advice like that can stay with you for life.

Irish Independent

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