England Rugby Player Danny Cipriani

150 150 Rob McGibbon

subject photo

Published: 25 April 2015

England rugby player Danny Cipriani:

‘I love philosophy. My motivational coach quotes philosophers like Aristotle and I keep a journal of the sayings’

We ask a celebrity a set of devilishly probing questions – and only accept THE definitive answer. This week it’s rugby player Danny Cipriani


The prized possession you value above all others...My medal for winning the Heineken Cup – the European Cup for rugby – with London Wasps in 2007. It was an incredible feeling to win in front of 82,000 at Twickenham.

The biggest regret you wish you could amend...Breaking my ankle during a Wasps match against Bath in 2008. I missed a tour of New Zealand with England and it took months to get fit again.

The temptation you wish you could resist...Peanut butter Chunky Kit Kats. I’m on a strict diet to maintain my fitness but I often give in to a Kit Kat at the petrol station on a long motorway journey.

The book that holds an everlasting resonance...Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell. It reaffirms that you must trust your instincts when playing sport, and in life.

The poem that touches your soul...If by Rudyard Kipling always inspires me. It helps me deal with challenges and remain positive.

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Man for a day...I’d infiltrate all the major teams ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup to find out how they plan to play against England.

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise...Untidiness. I’m the one telling the guys to clean up the training ground. It’s part of discipline.

The film you can watch time and time again...Any Given Sunday with Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx. It’s about an American football team and is spot-on about the way sport works.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity...Philosophy. My motivational coach, Steve Black, is always quoting philosophers like Aristotle and I keep a journal of the sayings.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it...I’d pull off an intricate robbery on a Las Vegas casino, like in the Ocean’s Eleven film, and give the money to the poor.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again...My first pair of rugby boots. I was given them when I was seven and it felt like my birthday and Christmas had come at once. They disappeared after we moved house when I was 12.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child...Find the courage to be true to yourself, no matter what.

The person who has influenced you most...My mum, Anne. Her and Dad split up when I was two. She did The Knowledge to be a black taxi driver and get me through private education.

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint...Martin Luther King. I’d like to know how he found the strength to fight against such extreme odds.

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase...That I’m a party boy and a drinker. It started when I was photographed at a nightclub, but I was dropping some tickets to a friend. I’m very committed to my profession.

The unending quest that drives you on...To be the best I can be. I’m only 27, so I still have everything to play for.

The event that altered the course of your life and character...Attending a week’s training camp at London Wasps academy when I was 15. After that I knew I wanted to be a rugby player.

The song that means most to you...The Motto by Drake. It reminds me of my friend Tom Maynard [the Welsh cricketer who died on a Tube track in 2012 after fleeing police]. I remember him dancing to it with a big smile.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions...I’d start in the South Yarra area of Melbourne, Australia. I played for the Rebels there a few years back, so I’d have a reunion brunch with mates at a local cafe. I’d have scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, exotic fruit and good coffee. Later I’d go to Tobago where my dad Jay lives. We’d have a big family lunch of crab and dumplings on the beach at Store Bay. As I’m on holiday I’d have a few beers, then we’d all go snorkelling over the reef. In the evening, I’d meet friends for dinner at Nobu in LA. We’d have sushi and wagyu beef, with plenty of sake and then I’d fly everyone to Las Vegas in a private jet for ringside seats at the Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao fight. We’d all end the day by checking into a high-roller suite at the Aria hotel.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever...My England debut against Ireland in 2008 when my boyhood dream came true.

The saddest time that shook your world...When my uncle Peter died of throat cancer before Christmas last year. He was only in his late 50s and I was with him when he died.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you...To win the World Cup with England.

The philosophy that underpins your life...Never give up.

The order of service at your funeral...I’d only want a modest church service. Then I want my ashes scattered on the sea in Tobago, followed by a big beach party for my friends and family.

The way you want to be remembered...He was occasionally on time!

The Plug...Danny is ambassador for the Welcome Back To Milk campaign for a2 Milk. Visit a2milk.co.uk.