Monday 22 January 2018

'It's like tackling a coffee table'

Take 20: Conor Murray

Before playing for Munster, Conor Murray was keen on water-skiing
Before playing for Munster, Conor Murray was keen on water-skiing

Nakarawa makes a big impression on Munster and Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray

1: Pre-match meal?

Turkey burgers and then I put scrambled egg in with mashed potatoes and beans on top. Our nutritionist says the potatoes are fine like that, you are getting your carbs and protein. The chocolate ice cream is important too.

2: Favourite player growing up?

ROG was the player I looked up to. Justin Marshall for New Zealand was pretty good too.

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

Keith Earls. I know him for such a long time now that you can be very comfortable. There is no small talk. We both get each other very well. He doesn't snore, but he talks in his sleep!

4: Who would headline your house party?

Drake, if I could get him.

5: First song they would play?

He would sing Take Care, so he would have to bring Rihanna with him.

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

I would build a beautiful holiday home in Derrynane, Co Kerry.

7: Favourite movie?

American Gangster with Denzel Washington.

8: Favourite TV show and why?

David Attenborough's Blue Planet. The footage is just amazing. They spend so many hours waiting for the right moment to film. On a Sunday evening watching that with the fire on, I sound like I'm 70, but it's a nice feeling.

9: Earliest rugby memory growing up?

Going to Thomond Park as a nine-year-old for those big European games. The buzz of European games are next level and that got me going definitely.

10: Who is the joker in the dressing room?

Duncan Casey, I know him for a long time, but since we got the one centre and we are all in the dressing room together he is the last person you want to get in a slagging match with. He can even take Dave Kilcoyne down, which is very impressive.

11: Favourite holiday destination and why?

New York just because there is so much to do and it's such a big place.

12: Favourite away ground to play at?

The Principality Stadium is incredible. I prefer the roof closed because it keeps the atmosphere in and the ball relatively dry.

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

Pablo Escobar, I have watched Narcos. Drake would come along. And Eva Mendes for her acting skills.

14: Most memorable moment in rugby?

Beating the All Blacks for the first time in Chicago. It wasn't bad.

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

I used to when I was younger, but it is way too time-consuming and you get too stressed about it. I just put the earphones in and listen to music now.

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

ROG, especially early in my career; it was daunting playing with him but he gave you free rein and allowed you to back yourself. He never gave out to you for trying things that might not have come off.

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

Leone Nakarawa. You do not know where to tackle, it's like tackling a coffee table.

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

I love water sports. We would water ski down in Derrynane during the summers when I was growing up. Obviously we are not allowed to do it now because it is in our contracts. But I would have knee-boarded and wake-boarded. When I retire hopefully I will be able to go back to it.

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

Salted real butter and Parma ham. And there are always Portuguese olives there, I get them from Andrew Conway.

20: Best advice you ever got?

Genuinely enjoy it. Paul Derbyshire said it to me. It was my first ever game for Munster and he said don't wait until after the game to realise you are good enough for this level.

Irish Independent

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