Thursday 20 September 2018

'You could be stuck in an office doing a normal job so you might as well enjoy what you're doing'

Duncan Williams used to own shares in Manchester United. Photo: Sportsfile
Duncan Williams used to own shares in Manchester United. Photo: Sportsfile

Take 20: Duncan Williams

1. Pre-match meal?

Usually in the Clarion I would have some bruschetta, a turkey burger and some mashed potato. And some ice-cream as well of course.

2. Favourite player growing up?

It was probably Joost van der Westhuizen, the South African No 9. He was the new breed of scrum-half at the time. He was a big man in the Conor Murray mould, a very physical player and was dangerous any time he made a break. He had a great all-round game.

I remember that try he scored against England in Twickenham in the late '90s, where he took the ball down the blindside chipped the defence and caught it again. That was one of the greatest things I have ever seen.

3. Best away day room-mate and why?

I seem to be paired with Billy Holland a fair bit these days so I have to give it to him. Despite his horrendous snoring.

4. Who would headline your house party?

Hall & Oats.

5. First song they would play?

'You Make my Dreams Come True'.

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

I would probably buy a mansion in a sunny destination.

7. Favourite movie?

'Man on Fire'.

8. Favourite TV show and why?

'The Sopranos' - it's just a great show. It's quite funny. The characters are good and I would imagine it's close to the real life.

9. Earliest rugby memory growing up?

Going to the internationals with my dad, brother and my mom. We used to go up early on the train and go into Lansdowne Road and watch the game and be in awe of the players. My first game would have been Ireland against Wales. Simon Geoghegan got onto a grubber kick through into the right-hand corner in the early '90s.

10. Who is the joker in the dressing room?

It would have been Duncan Casey and Mike Sherry but obviously Duncan has left. That's a void we are still looking to fill at the moment but Mike is still up there. Chris Cloete likes to think he will take over, along with the other South Africans, but their banter is terrible.

11. Favourite holiday destination and why?

I went to Formentera, an island off Ibiza, before. It's lovely sandy beaches, lovely food and not a cloud in the sky.

12. Favourite away ground to play at?

I enjoy playing in the Ospreys, the Liberty Stadium. The pitch is immaculate and the facilities are very good.

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

Denzel Washington, Pablo Escobar and Muhammad Ali.

14. Most memorable moment in rugby?

It would be making my debut for Munster or playing against Australia and beating them in Thomond Park. I made my debut in 2009 and it was against Connacht in Thomond Park.

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

Quite a few. I would always wear the exact same gear, the same socks under my Munster socks, the same under shorts, the same top underneath my jersey. I don't change my scrum cap until it's literally about to fall apart. I always get dressed the same way after the match as well.

I always go out an hour before kick-off and do my own warm-ups for about 20 minutes. I do the same routine before every match.

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

When I was in school I played alongside a guy called Jonathan Harte, he was our No 8. He was a phenomenal player. He just didn't want to pursue a rugby career and ended up playing socially but he was one of the best players I have played with.

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

I played against Conor Murray when he was playing for Garryowen and I was playing for Cork Con. Considering what he has gone on to achieve, I would imagine he was the best I played against. He was good back then too. It was a 50-50 split as to who won most often.

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

I used to be a shareholder in Man United.

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

Eggs, hummus and milk.

20. Best advice you ever got?

You could be stuck in an office doing a normal job so you might as well enjoy what you are doing and play rugby with a smile on your face. It's a short-lived career.

Irish Independent

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