Will of the Week II

England Saxons skipper Will Skinner looks back on his Canadian TV debut, and reveals who has had to swap rooms because of a teammate’s snoring

Rugby might not be that big in Canada but there’s a fair bit of interest in the tournament out here.

All the captains and coaches were guests on a local live TV chat show called the Big Bad Sports Show. It’s good for the tournament and it was an experience too, the studio was like being on the set of Friends, sitting on a sofa with a whole mock apartment around you and a film crew watching!

Steve Bates and I also had to go to a press conference and a photoshoot on Parliament Hill for all the media. It was the only chance we’ve really had to see anything of Ottawa and it was good to meet the other captains.

As well as Mike Hercus, one of the American co-captains, I know Fergus, the Scottish captain, through a mutual friend I was a Bedford School with, he’s a good guy. The other USA captain is Paul Emerick who plays in Wales.

He was the guy who got sent off for that tackle on Olly Barkley in the World Cup. He got banned and missed the rest of the tournament, so he got asked a bit about that. He handled it well and promised the TV crews that he was on his best behaviour for this competition!

The USA named their team yesterday and as well as Paul and Mike and there’s a few other names we recognise. We know they’re going to be physical and that they’ll take us on up front. We’ll have to match that.

We’ve got a really big, strong pack and a lot of pace and ambition in the backs. The likes of George (Chuter) and Chris (Jones) will give us lots of Premiership and international experience and it’s great for me to have leaders like them around the park.

The forecasters here are saying it’s going to be a hot and humid day on Saturday, around 31 degrees. That’s going to make it tough to maintain our intensity. The coaches have told us to go out there and run ourselves into the ground as we’ve got a big bench with five forwards to help us maintain that for a full 80 minutes.

My Quins team mate Chris Robshaw is one of the replacements. It was his 22nd birthday on Wednesday so it would be a nice present for him to get on. The whole squad went out for a team meal last night and the waiters brought out birthday cakes for Chris and Jordan Crane, who had his the day before.

Chris saved the biggest piece of cake for Nick Lloyd. Nick was his room mate but lasted three nights of Chris’ snoring and couldn’t stand it any longer.

I know how Nick feels. Chris has stayed at mine a few times after nights out with Quins so I know how bad he is. I’ve been woken up by the racket a few times and had to wake him up from the bedroom next door just to get back to sleep.

Nick’s moved into the physio room now. I presume he’s actually using a bed in there rather than the physio couches. It’s certainly the best way to get your name on the treatment list each morning!

With thanks to www.rfu.com