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30 Minutes with… Crusaders and All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett

Arms aloft: Wyatt Crockett celebrates beating Ireland in Dublin last year. Photo: Getty Images Rugby World

New Zealand prop Wyatt Crockett talks practical jokes, hidden talents and embarrassing moments


You hold the appearance record for the Crusaders and have a 97% win record with the All Blacks…

I feel lucky to be part of amazing sides. The Crusaders have an awesome history and I always wanted to be a Crusader, and to still play for them is amazing. Since I’ve been involved with the All Blacks, they’ve been a team that’s been dominant. It’s been great fun.

Who are the jokers you’ve played with?

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The one who’s played a lot of jokes on me is Andy Ellis. He would always find a way to wind me up.

Any practical jokes?

One time he chained my car up to a tree with a padlock. He left the keyring (for the padlock) nearby and I found it after about an hour and a half. It didn’t go down too good!

Happy chappy: Former NZ scrum-half Andy Ellis is known as a joker. Photo: Getty Images Rugby World

What are your nicknames?

There have been a few but Crockzilla is the one that I’ve hung onto quite happily. It started after a game against the Reds. ‘Rodzilla’ – Rodney Blake – was playing for them and I was marking him. Scott Hamilton said: “Hey, it’s Crockzilla versus Rodzilla.”

What annoys you?

Nothing really annoys me but traffic can be frustrating. I live out of town, so if I’ve got to be at training for 8am I can get stuck in traffic.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

When I was a builder, we were pouring this massive foundation and I had to unscrew all of these bolts. I’m talking about 150 long foundation bolts, every 50cm. By the end of the day, I’d overused the ligaments in my arm. I had two weeks off footy because of RSI in my wrist.

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What’s your most embarrassing on-field moment?

Once, I was sent into the stands by our old coach Robbie Deans. He’d been going on about us standing in our defensive line with hands on our knees. It was a bit of a habit of mine and he told us off a couple of times.

At training, he said: “Next person who puts their hands on their knees is going to the back of the stands.” I obviously did it near the start of training and was sent up. It was meant to be for a couple of minutes but he forgot about me. I sat up there for over an hour.

If you could be one of your team-mates, who would you be?

Kieran Read has a good gig. He seems to play every now and again, is on a pretty good wicket, and I’d like to play No 8.

On hand: Kieran Read and Wyatt Crockett team up in a practise match. Photo: Getty Images Rugby World

Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?

I’ve been stuck in a lift a few times actually. It’s not a pleasant experience. So someone with some MacGyver skills to get us out… actually, yeah, MacGyver.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I’d like to fly.

Who would be your three dream dinner party guests?

I’d have Will Ferrell – he’s number one. I’d probably take Ed Sheeran, so he can entertain us with some music; I’d enjoy that. And I’d need a good chef, so I reckon Jamie Oliver could cook us a nice meal.

Right note: Ed Sheeran could provide dinner entertainment. Photo: Getty Images Rugby World

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I don’t really have any. When we go on tours I like to play some PlayStation with the younger boys. That’s it.

What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?

I’ve got a young family, so it would just be to be a really good dad and raise a couple of good boys. That would be cool.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I do go pretty good on the barbecue, I’m a bit of a whizz on the Weber.

How would you like to be remembered?

I don’t know. Maybe just as someone who gave his best for the team and didn’t put himself above others and just enjoyed what he did and helped others.

This article first appeared in the July 2017 edition of Rugby World.

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