MATT PRIOR SHARKS
Finish the following sentence: If I ran the NRL for a day, I’d . . .
Cut ticket prices with the aim of getting the games sold out. There’s nothing better than playing in a stadium full of fans. No matter how you’ve got to do it, get people in there and get the atmosphere going.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on a league field?
Probably Mickey Ennis, he’s always coming up with some comment or doing something to harass someone – just a bit of niggle here and there. He’s always got someone he’s picked out to go at to try to get them off their game.
What’s the weirdest pre-match routine you’ve seen from a teammate?
I’ve got to say Mickey Ennis again, because he actually practises his niggle in the warm-up. I know, because he practised it on me. He had a few of his lines ready and started getting into me. I cracked up.
Which of your teammates is the biggest clown at Shark Park? Got any examples of what he gets up to?
It would have to be Jimmy Maloney. He’s always talking, always cracking the boys up. Probably talking when he’s not meant to most of the time, but he’s always good value. He would’ve got into a lot of trouble at school, I reckon.
Which team did you support as a kid? Do you still have a soft spot for them?
Mainly St George Illawarra, and before that, when I was really young, I followed the Knights when Joey Johns was playing and they won their first comp. I’ve still got a little bit of a soft spot for the Dragons, my old club, but nothing too dramatic.
You can win the grand final or Powerball. Which one do you choose?
[Laughs]. I’m hoping to win the grand final this year and if we do, then I’ll start buying Powerball tickets. How’s that for an answer?
Which one of your teammates would you never want to get tackled by?
Sam Tagataese. If he hits you, you know about it. I’ve seen him put on some good shots and generally the blokes don’t get up.
What’s your dream holiday, if time and money weren’t in the way?
I’d travel all around Europe. Just doing it properly, with lots of money to spend and making the most of it. I’d love to see Italy and all of those cool countries. I’ve been to England, but I want to get across to the continent and see everything there.
If you weren’t playing footy, what would you be doing for a living?
Maybe personal training or something like that. I love the fitness side of things, so I could see myself working in that business.
How old were you when you first played league? Which team were you with?
Five, for the mighty Thirroul Butchers.
Have you got a league superstition? Is there something you do before each game for good luck, or an item of clothing you always wear?
I’ve got no superstitions related to wearing the same things or anything. But I have to have a pre-game sleep. I’ll always try to fit a nap in there somewhere before I leave for the game. I’ve got to shut my eyes and have a rest, because it relaxes me. Then, when I wake up, I feel fresh and ready to go.