Matt Bana­han

Glouces­ter’s gi­ant sign­ing gives an in­sight into what he’s like off the field

Rugby World - - CONTENTS - In­ter­view Sarah Mock­ford // Main Pic­ture Dave Rogers/ Getty Images

How have you set­tled in at Glouces­ter? I’m re­ally en­joy­ing it. I’d only known one way hav­ing been at one club (Bath) for so long, so the change has been quite nice. Ev­ery­thing is new to me and it’s been good fun.

Who are the jok­ers in the squad?

I find Ol­lie Thor­ley funny be­cause he’s so posh. I talk to him like I’m some­one from Robin Hood – where art thou?

And Fraser Bal­main is an in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ter. He’s got a very dry sense of hu­mour and keeps a dead­pan face.

Any prac­ti­cal jokes?

The other day I hid in the toi­let and jumped out at Ben Vel­la­cott. Ev­ery­thing is scary for him be­cause peo­ple are so much big­ger than him! I’ll try to do a few more of those – if it doesn’t bring a smile to their face it will to mine!

I love hid­ing some­where for a long time and then jump­ing out at peo­ple – it’s sim­ple but ef­fec­tive. I al­ways set up a mo­bile phone some­where to try to get the re­ac­tion, a tough bloke with a high-pitched squeal. I like to put it on so­cial me­dia to break down the fa­cade that we’re all big, tough men. Do you have any pho­bias? Not re­ally. I’m not a mas­sive fan of small spa­ces but that’s just from be­ing big. And I don’t like peo­ple hold­ing my head un­der water – I have a big brother! What’s your nick­name? Just Banas. I’ve seen some peo­ple spell it Ban­ners but I’m not a sign on a wall. What re­ally an­noys you? I hate it when peo­ple are late. If they say they’ll be there at 1pm, I ex­pect them to be there at 1pm or just be­fore. I’m likely to have some­thing planned af­ter that and if they’re late it’s ru­ined my day.

Do you have any su­per­sti­tions?

No. Be­fore a game I’m just think­ing how lucky I am to be a rugby player, how I’m a kid from Jersey who got the op­por­tu­nity to do this. So I go onto the pitch with a smile on my face. Who would be your three dream din­ner party guests? My dad when he was younger so I could see what he was like in his prime.

Tiger Woods – he was so far ahead in his sport, the best, and I’d like to know how he goes about things. Then my grandad, again when he was younger. He passed away last Novem­ber but would tell

“I love jump­ing out

at peo­ple – it’s sim­ple but ef­fec­tive”

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