MR PER­SON­AL­ITY

JUSTIN O’NEILL COW­BOYS

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 . . .

There’s a lot of footy played through­out the year and a lot of teams strug­gle with that Ori­gin pe­riod. There’s been a lot of chat about what to do with those games, whether you don’t play the club games at the same time as Ori­gin or what­ever. I think they could make that pe­riod fairer to teams, but apart from that I wouldn’t change much.

The fun­ni­est thing I’ve seen on a league field is . . .

A few streak­ers over the years, some in games I’ve played and oth­ers I’ve seen on TV. One guy didn’t get his kit fully off, but un­for­tu­nately for him he got belted by one of the se­cu­rity guards.

What’s the weird­est pre-match rou­tine you’ve seen from a team­mate?

You know those mas­sive cans of Mother? Scott Bolton drinks one be­fore a game. The guy next to me, Kyle Feldt, has to hang his mouth­guard up on the hook when he comes into the dress­ing-room be­fore a game. Ethan Lowe has to put his right sock and right boot on first – just stuff like that. Scott is buzzing af­ter one of those drinks.

What’s the best spray you’ve seen some­one cop off a coach?

I’ve been coached by “Belly­ache” [Craig Bel­lamy] so I had my fair share early on in my ca­reer. I did something re­ally stupid in a game one time and copped a mas­sive spray at half-time.

Who’s the biggest clown at the Cow­boys? Got any ex­am­ples of what he gets up to?

Michael Mor­gan. He’s al­ways play­ing tricks. I know he comes across like but­ter wouldn’t melt in his mouth in in­ter­views, but he’s de­ceiv­ing; he’s a joker . . . He’ll take the cap off a bot­tle, fill it with water and then sneeze re­ally loudly into it be­hind you and make sure the water sprays all over the back of your neck, that sort of thing.

Which team did you sup­port as a kid? Do you still have a soft spot for them?

I was a Cow­boys fan, grow­ing up in Townsville. I liked the Bron­cos as well, but strictly Cow­boys now, ob­vi­ously.

Which team-mate would you never want to be tack­led by?

Ja­son Tau­malolo. I wouldn’t want to tackle him, ei­ther.

What’s your dream holiday, if time and money weren’t a prob­lem?

There’s a music fes­ti­val in Bel­gium called To­mor­row­land, but it’s al­ways on when we’re halfway through the sea­son here, so I’ve never been able to get to it. If I had time off, I’d go there.

If you weren’t play­ing footy, what would you be do­ing for a liv­ing?

I don’t mind get­ting hands-on and build­ing stuff in the shed, so I’d prob­a­bly be a car­pen­ter. I’ve put a few things to­gether in my time.

How old were you when you first played league? Which team were you with?

I was nine or 10 and it was for Hugh­en­den Hawks, west of Townsville. I did Lit­tle Ath­let­ics be­fore that. I used to do sprint­ing – I was a bit of a flyer.

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’m pretty cruisy. The only thing I do like to do be­fore a game is lis­ten to music, but if I for­get to bring my head­phones I’m not too fussed.

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