Sunday, 12 May 2013

Interview with John Barclay

Interview with John Barclay

Hello John!  Would you like to introduce yourself to my readers?

I'm John Barclay, and I play rugby for Glasgow Warriors for a living.

Talk me through an average day in the life of you?

An average day.  They're all pretty average.  Ha Ha.  No I guess we're a bit more full on than footballers in our training.  We have typically weights once a day and maybe one or two rugby sessions, eating is thrown in there. It's just the nature of it, the high impact nature of rugby, that we kind of have to have breaks as we're pretty much in all day and then it tapers down the closer we get to games, and if we are all right for games then weekends tend to go off as we usually play Friday evenings.


Talking about training. Rugby players' bodies now are kind of crazy.  There's a lot of muscle building involved.  What kind of things are you doing in the gym?

It kind of varies to be honest. Sort of boring stuff, it's nothing too flashy, kind of basic sqauts, bench pressing, chin ups, all kinds of variations of that.  The different phases of the season they kind of make us peak and trough as the year goes on.  Pre-season, before the season starts, tends to be real heavy; every single day in the gym, lots of weights, heavy lifting, long sessions and as it goes on further it tends to get a bit lighter and we do a lot more explosive stuff...

I imagine there is a lot of eating involved?

A lot of eating. We have a nutritionist and pre-season you can basically not eat enough, I mean some of the big guys and aren't allowed to eat as much as they'd like but you're looking sometimes at around 6,000 calories a day...

Oh my god.

Yeah, so literally you'll spend every spare minute eating which sounds fun but it's actually not by the end of it.


So we're here tonight at House of Fraser's Spring Mens Style Event.  What brought you here tonight and what do you think of the new collections in store?  That is if you've had a chance to have a look around yet?

Yeah, I had a little browse around. Glasgow Warriors have a relationship with House of Fraser and in particular Howick make our suits and after-match stuff so I just came along to have a look at the new collections and I actually haven't been here for a couple of weeks and it looks great. There's some cool shoes, and some nice stuff kicking around.

Interview with John Barclay-Glasgow Warriors

So would you say it's a department store you spend a lot of time in?

Yeah I would actually. I just got married last year and literally I came in here with my wife and for some reason just decided to buy a whole new wardrobe, and just went crazy and bought a lot of stuff.  But as you know, the weather has been pretty pathetic in Glasgow so what else is there to do other than go to the cinema or go and do some shopping?

Exactly.  So how would you describe your personal style when off the field?  Is it something you give much thought to?

Personal style? Ha Ha. 

You're looking pretty groomed tonight.

Yeah.  I can scrub up, I can scrub up. Um, I'd say it's pretty relaxed. On a day to day basis I'm a jeans and a t-shirt kind of guy and in the summer flip-flops and jeans, very relaxed.

The Basics...

Yeah, just the basics. I don't like too baggy stuff, reasonably fitted stuff.  I like fitted clothes and I get a lot of my stuff tailored cos rugby players are an odd shape compared to the normal sort of...

Human..

Yeah, compared to the normal sort of human. Ha Ha.


What about grooming? Men are spending a lot more these days on grooming.  Is it something you try and pay attention to? Or are you blessed with not having to really think about it?

I guess some guys are probably closet groomers and do a lot more than others.

Can you name names from your team? 

I'm just tying to think, but off the top of my head I'm struggling.

Well I suppose they're "closet" groomers?

Well exactly that's the beauty of it. Ha Ha.  I don't really shave, I kind of just shave once every so often and get my hair done at a nice hairdressers in the West End and so...

The Basics...

The basics, yeah.  Ha Ha.


Now I recently read that you're moving on from the Glasgow Warriors at the end of this season.  How long have you been playing for them?  Is it nine years?

Nine years, yeah.

Which is a long time.

Yeah.  A long time.


And you will be moving down to Wales to play for The Scarlets.  How are you feeling about leaving Glasgow?

It's funny because my dad worked in the oil industry so I kind of grew up all over the Far East and then went to boarding school and travelled back and forth so it's kind of funny that when someone asks me now,  "Where do you call home?", I say Glasgow. 

So this has probably been the longest time you have spent anywhere?

Yeah so I'll be a little bit sad to leave. I've obviously got my best friends up here, and my best man who also plays for the club and will also be leaving at the end of the year. So you know, I've got a bit of a heavy heart when I think about leaving but I think nine years is pretty good at one club and not many people get to have that opportunity so I'll miss it but I'm also really excited about the next chapter.


I guess you will have played against a lot of your new teammates already?

Yeah. That's the funny thing and then I'll have to come back and play all my mates here.  I actually didn't think when I was leaving that I would end up playing for a club in the same league as there doesn't seem to be as much transfers within the league so I guess I've got three years of coming back to Glasgow to play against my mates which should be fun.

Are you not a bit worried about that?

No I'm looking forward to it actually.

Ah, so what you're trying to say is that you're looking forward to tackling quite a few of your mates?

Yeah.  I'm sure there will be a few bits and bobs going on but it will be really good fun to play against the team I played in for nine years.


Have you heard of the Dieux du Stade calendar?

The Jesus Dad calendar?

D-i-e-u-x  d-u  S- t- a-d-e?

Dieux du Stade? Oh.... no?

So you've never been asked to pose for it?

Ha Ha.  

So rugby players from all over the world, well a selection of them, come together for Dieux du Stade.  It's quite a 'naked' calendar.

Is this the French one?

Yeah, the French calendar!  The Evans brothers have done it...

Yeah, sorry I didn't know the name of it.

So you've never been offered?

No I've never been offered. 

I would be offended if I were you.

Ha Ha. Only one can do it.

Twelve 'technically' but what I was going to ask is if you were approached to do something like that what would your answer be.

Yeah, why not.

Yeah?

Yeah.

Cool.  So how much can you bench press?

150kg.

Really?

That's not a lot though compared to some of the guys!  I should have totally exaggerated that but one of my mates would be like, LIES!

So what would some of the bigger guys be lifting?

200 I'd say. 

That's nuts.  Especially if that guy's running into you.

Yeah but those guys can't run very fast.

Ha Ha. A guilty pleasure you can't seem to quit?

Guilty pleasures, um.  Probably cheesy pop music like this.

Who is it?

Darius I think.

Is it Darius?

Yeah I think so.

Yes it is Darius.  Well, I suppose he's Scottish.  So that's fine. 


Would you ever consider, once you've finished playing rugby, following in the footsteps of someone like Thom Evans and going into modelling?  It's quite a thing now for rugby players to take their shirts off for photographers.

I don't think all of us are blessed physically like Thom.  Ha Ha.  Those Evans brothers incidentally have the worst diets, like, Max his brother would go home and eat a whole 300-400g pack of chocolate biscuits for his dinner, have that for breakfast and then they just have to think about doing weights and they get ripped up.

That's just nonsense.

Nonsense.

Thanks John!



Photography by Portis Wasp
Check out my write-up of the Spring Mens Style Event at House of Fraser.


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