Thursday 22 March 2018

Nothing can replace the time spent playing with close friends

Munster scrum-half James Hart is half-French, half-Irish. Photo: Sportsfile
Munster scrum-half James Hart is half-French, half-Irish. Photo: Sportsfile

Take 20: James Hart

1: Pre-match meal?

It has varied from club to club. With Munster you can get chicken or a turkey burger, with rice or a bit of a bit of mash and veg. Sometimes it was steak in France.

2: Favourite player growing up?

My favourite soccer player would have been Zinedine Zidane. I used to spend my summers in France and had my Zidane jersey. Out of all of the sports people who I admire, he was very discreet off the field so you don't know much about him. Zidane is definitely my biggest sporting icon.

3. Best away day room-mate and why?

Usually we are put with the 10s. I haven't got to room with Tyler yet, but I have roomed with Bill Johnston, Ian Keatley and JJ Hanrahan. They are all good lads.

4. Who would headline your houseparty?

Jamiroquai and then at the end when it gets a bit slow, Damien Dempsey.

5. First song they would play?

Little L from Jamiroquai and then Party On by Damien Dempsey.

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

A big house by the beach, somewhere warm.

7. Favourite movie?

American Gangster.

8. Favourite TV show and why?

I am watching Peaky Blinders at the moment and enjoying that. I would love to go back and live in a week in that time to see what it was like.

9. Earliest rugby memory growing up?

Down in Clontarf, playing or training on a Sunday or Saturday and then staying after watching the first team play. That would have been a packed out match in Castle Avenue. The bar used to be packed and you could barely squeeze by anyone.

10. Who is the joker in the dressing room?

There is a few. Zebo would definitely be one that you could have good craic with. Dave Kilcoyne is another and Chris Cloete is a funny man.

11. Favourite holiday destination and why?

Corsica would probably be the one, just because it has good food and lovely beaches.

12. Favourite away ground to play at?

Stade Marcel-Michelin in Clermont.

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

Nelson Mandela, Denzel Washington and Conor McGregor.

14. Most memorable moment in rugby?

Purely because I will probably never get to do it again, it was just playing with mates in Belvedere College, all of those cup games. There is nothing that replaces playing with your close friends.

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

No, none at all.

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

Dan Carter. Just because of his knowledge and understanding of the game. The way he plays it, he is quite relaxed but he seems to glide through the game and his decisions seem to be the right ones at the right time.

He is very quick which is funny, you wouldn't notice how quick he is. He is very strong too. He has got the full skill-set but he is very strong in the contact and deceptively quick. I haven't seen anyone with that understanding with the way he plays the game.

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

It goes with what team they are with at the time. I have played against Toulon a few times. Every time we played against Matt Giteau he walked all over us, he seemed to be a step ahead of everyone else on the pitch. In an attacking sense he reads where the space is and once he is given the opportunity he takes it.

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

I am half-French and half-Irish, a lot of people wouldn't know that.

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

Eggs, milk and a little bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate.

20. Best advice you ever got?

Hard work pays off.

Irish Independent

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