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Top five rugby interviews of all time

By Philip Bendon
Joe Marler

Great characters, epic one-liners and general rugby banter is the stuff of dreams for rugby journalists and fans alike.

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In a sport brimming with unique individuals operating at the highest level, the opportunity for a great press conference moment is always just around the corner.

So without further ado here are our top five Rugby interviews of all time.

5. Joe Marler – Goes full anchorman

Harlequins and England prop Joe Marler is one of the games unique characters on many fronts. From his distinctive mohawk hairstyles to his hilarious one-liners that get caught on the ref mics, the big man is a real favourite amongst English rugby supporters. Whilst there were certainly plenty of Marler clips to choose from, his interview in the wake of Harlequins 2021 Premiership victory comes out on top. Picking up his second premiership title, Marler was voted man of the match and as such had to give the customary interview. In front of a group of raucous fans he delivered an interview even the great Brick Tamland from anchorman would be proud of.

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4. Brendan Venter – three cheers for Sireli Bobo!

Another South African coach cracks the top five of our best press conference questions. Former Springbok centre Brendan Venter is widely regarded as one of the games great characters. A qualified doctor and world class coach, Venter is one of the most eloquently spoken people in the game. A fact that many would not have realised had they only seen this interview with Sky Sports in the wake of Saracens loss to Racing Metro in the Heineken Cup. Venter was the head coach of the London club at the time and had previously been reprimanded for criticising referees. In a clear effort to avoid discussing match officials or any real points from the fixture, he put on tape one of the funniest post-match interviews you will find.

3. Brian O’Driscoll – The infamous tomato comment

As far as witty one liner go, Irish legend Brian O’Driscoll is up there with the best of them. Correctly identified as one of the main catalysts for Ireland’s transformation from amateur nearly rans to world class professionals. The former Ireland captain is regarded as one of the best players in history. The incident in question here was in relation to another legend of the game in England’s World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson. The two men toured together for the British & Irish Lions in 2001 as they took on reigning World Champions Australia. In addition to this they also shared a sponsor, in a rather disparaging way a journalist can be heard asking “what do you make of what’s his name, the English fella.” O’Driscoll clearly felt the question did not warrant a valid response and as such came up with one of the greatest responses in press conference history.

2. Rassie Erasmus – Tackle technique

The infamous shoulder charge by England captain Owen Farrell on South Africa’s Andre Esterhuizen lives in the memory of many Bok fans. In the 82nd minute with England holding a one-point advantage, Farrell lined Esterhuizen up. The tackle that followed was dubious to say the least and left fans debating its legality. Referee Angus Gardener felt it fit not to award the penalty and the rest as they say is history as England held on for the win. The real fireworks were still to come as the charismatic Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus took the incident and ran with it. Starting at the press conference where Erasmus ran with the fact that the referee did not award a penalty and as such it must’ve been a good tackle. The Bok maestro went as far as to suggest that his side would start practicing the same form of tackle technique if it was legal. In the ensuring days Erasmus would release a hilarious video in response to the incident which can be seen below.

1. Nick Cummins – Most Aussie man alive

A Rugby icon the world over for his incredible post-match press conferences, former Wallaby winger Nick Cummins tops our list for post-match interviews. Playing for perennial Super Rugby strugglers the Western Force, Cummins came out with the greatest post-match interview in the sports history. In an interview filled with hysterical innuendos, bizarre references and a hilarious story about a honey badger, Cummins showed just why every Rugby fan the world over loves him. Off the field the honey badger is a fantastic human being having forfeited his international career to play in Japan to assist his family financially with some serious health issues his two younger siblings were facing. As rugby fans it was a real shame to see such a fantastic player and incredible character leave the spotlight so early, but the reasoning once reaffirmed the high esteem in which he is held in the game.

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