Tuesday 11 December 2018

Take 20: 'The backs are good and tidy roomies'

Craig Ronaldson
Craig Ronaldson

Craig Ronaldson

1: Pre-match meal? I tend to go for the good old pasta and chicken most of the time, but I like some pancakes on occasions as well. The pasta and chicken are standard on all our pre-match menus.

2: Favourite player growing up?

My favourite player was Jonny Wilkinson growing up. The fact that he is a left-foot kicker like myself, I always followed him pretty closely and some of the things he could do were incredible.

3. Best away day room-mate and why?

The backs in general are all pretty good and tidy roomies. Tom Farrell usually has a few treats with him to share so I'll have to say him.

4. Who would headline your houseparty?

That would have to be the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

5. First song they would play?

Back in the day I used to love listening to Can't Stop, so that would be a good one to get started with. 

6. You win the Lotto, first thing you would buy?

I would probably buy a massive yacht that I could park up in the Docks in Galway. I could use it to take all the lads on a trip down to Portugal.

7. Favourite movie?

I love a lot of American sports movies so anything in that category and I am happy out really.

8. Favourite TV show and why?

I just got caught up to date on the latest series of Peaky Blinders and it is definitely one of my favourites. 

9. Earliest rugby memory growing up?

One of my earliest memories is probably just chasing the ball around the back pitches of Naas Rugby Club not having a clue what was going on but loving it. 

10. Who is the joker in the dressing room?

JP Cooney has had a few mentions this season, but Peter Claffey from the academy has come to the fore recently with a few expertly-sung Christmas carols!

11. Favourite holiday destination and why?

I drove the Pacific Highway on the Californian coast with my girlfriend Lydia a few summers ago and it was pretty special. 

12. Favourite away ground to play at?

Toulouse's home ground the Stade Ernest-Wallon has to be up there purely for the atmosphere in and around the stadium. We had a famous win against them in the Heineken Cup a few years ago. I came off the bench in that game so that's probably why it sticks out. 

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

I would have Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un over for a bit of friendly dinner chat and then I'd bring along Kevin Bridges to keep us entertained. I saw him recently when he was in Galway and he's hilarious.

14. Most memorable moment in rugby?

The PRO12 final at Murrayfield obviously stands out in the memory of all Connacht players. But for a moment when I was on the pitch it would have to be our win in Thomond Park the year we won the PRO12 or else our wins over Toulouse in the Heineken Cup. Both were historic wins for us.

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

No superstitions or rituals for me, I just like getting to the ground good and early and taking it all in. That's about it. 

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

It would probably be Dan Parks when I was in my first season with Connacht. He had a big impact on me and taught me a lot about my game.  

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

Owen Farrell. Purely for his presence on the pitch and the way he could control a game. He is a world-class player whether he is representing club or country. 

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

My grandad played for Ireland in the '50s, so he was a big inspiration growing up. 

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

Milk, eggs and there are generally a few cans of Coke Zero floating around. 

20. Best advice you ever got?

"The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory."

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