This level-headed “reluctant star” of English rugby grew up in Northumberland and describes himself as a “horse whisperer, ventriloquist, ladies swimwear model and soft play enthusiast” to his 50,000 followers on Twitter. He enjoys gardening, fishing and walking his black Labrador and eventually intends to become a lawyer. Whilst both of his grandfathers were actors, he has become an ambassador and model for the Eden Park fashion brand, official suppliers of formalwear to the RFU. His view on fame is simple: “I don’t want to be a celebrity or be on the front pages of the papers. I don’t want to be recognised. I just want to play rugby to the best of my ability and lead my own life away from the job”. His fans are rightly united in calling him a “great bloke”.