After nine years spent with London Irish, hooker Adrian Flavin made the trip across the Irish Sea and out west to play for Connacht in 2006 where he has become a key member of Eric Elwood’s squad.
While Connacht have endured a difficult time of late, the 31-year-old believes they are playing well enough to stop the rot and turn their season around. Their first chance to do that will come away at Gloucester this weekend before a return to RaboDirect PRO12 action sees them take on Munster at Thomond Park on Boxing Day.
1. What’s the strangest Christmas gift you’ve ever received? Anything from my mother-in-law. She’s not on twitter so I should get away without her reading this.
2. What’s your favourite thing about Christmas? Probably getting to see the family. Usually we have my parents and my wife’s family over from England and it’s good to see everyone.
3. Tell us your all-time favourite Christmas movie? I’m not really a film enthusiast but Elf was on last night and I always enjoy that. It’s a little childish but it makes me laugh.
4. What’s your favourite Christmas song? Everyone usually goes for it but it’s got to be Fairytale of New York by the Pogues. I must have sung it a fair few times at different Christmas parties.
5. What’s your worst-ever Christmas experience? I’ve got two to choose from here. Once when we were coming back from midnight mass I managed to key in the wrong burglar alarm code three times so it went off every hour during the night and we had the police turn up about ten times.
The other time I switched the oven off on Christmas Eve to make myself a bacon sandwich, so the turkey wasn’t cooked, it didn’t go down too well!
6. What’s your favourite Christmas decoration? We used to have a Santa that we would stick on the back of the car and if anyone came close his trousers would come down and he would moon whoever was looking at him.
7. Which RaboDirect PRO12 player would you like to have as your secret Santa? You’d want Mike McCarthy because you’d be guaranteed something crazy. He’s unique, that’s for sure.
8. Which RaboDirect PRO12 player would you invite around for Christmas Day? It would have to be Frank Murphy as he doesn’t eat carbs so I’d be able to see how he coped with all the roast potatoes and the rest.
9. If you were one of Santa’s reindeer, what would your name be? Not sure for a reindeer but maybe Elmer as that’s my nickname at Connacht. I’ve got Jamie Hagan to thank for christening me with it, something about the lack of hair making me look like Elmer Fudd I think.
10. What’s the worst Christmas present you’ve been given? My brother gave me a Blu-ray DVD one Christmas, given that I don’t own a Blu-ray player it wasn’t the best present!
11. Which rugby player in the RaboDirect PRO12 would make the best Santa? You would have to give him a beard but it’s got to be Michael Swift. He’s basically just a little kid at heart.
12. What’s been your highlight of 2011? The Heineken Cup games against Harlequins and Toulouse were pretty special and then you’ve got our first game with the new stand at the Sportsground in our RaboDirect PRO12 opener against the Scarlets.