‘Getting to know’ is a regular column in Rugby League World, in which we quiz a Super League star about life away from the field. As a taster, here’s out piece with Huddersfield Giants second-row Tom Symonds, who talks teammates, ice baths and Pokemon!
What would your last meal to be and why?
Ooh, my last ever meal. I’d probably have a big, juicy steak with sweet potato fries, and I’d probably have a beer with it too.
What’s your funniest moment on the field?
It was always fun playing with Willie Mason. There would always be plenty of sledging and he never took things too seriously, so it was always a good laugh playing with or against him. It’s a bit like James Graham, but he’s more aggressive and competitive, but they’re definitely similar in the sense that they don’t shut up for the whole game. You just get constant chat.
Who has the worst dress sense at Huddersfield?
I’m going to have to be on my game with this answer. I’ll go with Aaron Murphy so far. It’s the jeans and joggers problem, you just can’t do it. He tries, but fails miserably.
Who is your most annoying teammate?
That’s easy, that would be Jake Connor. He’s just a pest, he’s always coming up behind you, pinching you and talking rubbish all the time. He’s a good laugh but he’s a big pest.
What would you like to achieve outside of Rugby League?
Plenty of things I guess. Being happy and healthy would be the number one thing I suppose, but I’d also like to travel too.
Have you any pet hates?
I’m just looking at my partner sitting on the other side of the room and thinking about what annoys me. I’m pretty easy going, but bad drivers annoy me. People are generally a bit kinder over here, they let you in more, where back home it’s a dog fight, and if you aren’t aggressive you won’t get out.
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
When I was younger I won an award at a footy presentation. My family and the Roosters CEO were both there, and I somehow managed to blurt a couple of swear words at the worst time. I was young and just mortified at what I’d done, although it was probably fun for everyone else. I had to apologise to my grandparents after. I just got in the moment talking about our coach and giving him rap and got about calling him a f’ing this and that.
Is it true that Rick Stone likes putting you in ice baths?
Yep, that’s true. Back home it’s quite a common thing, but it’s a bit warmer there. Some of the boys got wind of Rick coming in and making us jump in ice baths, which was a bit of a shock, but it’s one of those things, and Rick has brought in discipline, good habits and professionalism, so it’s been good so far.
Who was the most reluctant to get in the ice bath?
I don’t think Broughy was too happy about it if I could tell you the truth!
Is the Huddersfield Giants squad playing Pokemon Go?
There are some that are and others that aren’t, and I’m definitely a hater. Ollie Roberts, Jermaine McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe and Michael Lawrence are all playing. I think if you were a fan when you were younger, they want get into it, but then there are others that weren’t and they’re playing so that’s pretty embarrassing. I just think if anyone has time to play Pokemon Go then there’s something wrong.
Who is the worst dancer in the team?
I’m going to say Kruise Leeming, because he’ll hate that I said that. He’ll definitely rate himself as 10/10 so we’ll give him a wrap.
What’s your taste in music?
I like a bit of RnB and rap music, but then I don’t mind a bit of house music or something chilled. It’s a wide range, it depends on what mood I’m in. I want to get to more gigs here. There are a few gigs that have popped up that I wouldn’t mind getting to. I’d like to go to Leeds Festival if possible. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers are there and if I could see them that would be epic. The Mrs was gutted she missed Beyonce, we got here just as she finished up.
You’re having a dinner party and you can invite three people, who would you ask?
Roger Federer, Leonardo Di Caprio and Rihanna. Federer is my favourite sportsperson, so that’s easy. Di Caprio is the best actor and probably my man crush so I’d have to invite him, and Rihanna has been my crush since I’ve been a kid, so I’d definitely get her there.
If you were stuck in a lift, who is the one person you wouldn’t want to be stuck with?
My brother, either one of them! We just can’t handle each other for longer than five minutes at a time, we’re an absolute nightmare around each other.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Probably mind-reading. I don’t know, it’s the first that came to my head. I’m sure there are lots of good ones, there’s invisibility, but that’s pretty creepy. You’d only want it so you can perv on chicks, which is just a bit weird, isn’t it?
If you could be any of your teammates, who would it be?
Who has got the most money? I just can’t think of anyone for a good reason! Maybe Jermaine McGillvary, he’s a pretty good guy.
Next month’s Getting To Know star is Widnes’ Rhys Hanbury. The new edition of Rugby League World will be available to buy in stores on September 23rd, or online at totalrl.com/rlw