Current Newcastle assistant coach Nick Easter has become the latest character to earn selection in the notorious RugbyPass Offload Tourist XV after Mike Brown nominated his former England and Harlequins teammate for inclusion, revealing some team hotel high jinx in France as an example.
The fantasy Offload Tourist XV is aiming to pick 15 players who most enjoy themselves away from the rugby pitch and a night out is never dull when they are involved. Prior to Brown’s appearance on this week’s show with Jamie Roberts, eight players had already been selected.
Irish trio James Downey, Dave Kilcoyne and Neil Best has made the cut their various capers, as had Fijian Niko Matawalu, England’s Chris Ashton, Scottish pair Finn Russell and Jon Welsh and Wales’ Andy Powell, the infamous driver of a golf buggy along the motorway late one night.
Now, 42-year-old Harlequins legend Easter has earned selection, Brown slotting the 54-cap ex-England No8 in at second row as Powell had already been chosen at the back of the scrum.
Explaining why he chose Easter, Brown said: “I was struggling with second row so I thought outside the box, thinking Nick Easter who played second row for Harlequins a few times. He for me epitomises a social player.
"Sometimes it works, sometimes guys just can’t handle it at all and then you don’t see them ever again”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 21, 2021
“He was always leading the charge when we had away games. He would be the one organising socials, always the one leading the court sessions. He’d get loose and absolutely love it. He was very old school in that sense. He was a big part of what we were about in 2012 in terms of enjoying each other’s company on and off the pitch (the year Harlequins won the Premiership title).
“If I could slip him in somewhere at least he can go in the second row because No8 is taken already. Apart from him at second row I can’t think of anyone else.”
Asked for a story to highlight Easter’s good time bloke credentials, Brown recalled an incident that took place cross-channel and involved catching then Harlequins head coach John Kingston by surprise in his bedroom on the night after a game.
“We had a European trip away in France and John Kingston ended up getting his room broken into with a hotel key taken from the lobby. They went in and flipped his bed. It ended up getting blamed on George Robson but ‘Minty’ [Easter] was the one leading the charge.
“They had come in off a night out and thought they would give it a go by getting someone’s key. They picked John Kingston, being the head coach, asked for the room key of John Kingston. They [hotel reception] gave it to these players and it was Minty leading the charge.
“They went in his [Kingston’s] room. Apparently he was on his bed stark-bollock naked. They ran in and flipped his bed. Danny Care was one of them. Ugo (Monye). They ran in, flipped his bed, turned his room over and then just legged it.
“For some reason he [Kingston] thought it was George Robson, who was actually his sort of favourite player. The next morning at 6am they had a coaches meeting to review the game, watching the game together, so they called George Robson thinking it was him.
“They made him come down for two hours, sit and watch the game with him sat in the corner. No one spoke to him and they then just said ‘leave’. George had no idea why but it was because of that… Minty was leading the charge on that.”
"We won more trophies when I was the head coach at Harlequins than at any time in the professional era. I know what I have achieved."#ICYMI: @heagneyl ??? caught up with John Kingston earlier last Autumn and he had plenty to get off his chesthttps://t.co/RbSZEGTjaH
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 3, 2021
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