MATT PRIOR SHARKS

Rugby League Week - - The Head Bin - AS TOLD TO GREG PRICHARD

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.

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