Rugby player James Haskell
Rugby player James Haskell

James Haskell on Las Vegas parties, googling the best places for breakfast, and his life in travel

'My Vegas trips are three days of absolute carnage'

Chloe Hamilton@chloehamilton
Friday 18 December 2015 11:08
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I never sat still on holiday as a child.

My parents used to sunbathe but I was in and out of the pool on a little inflatable boat, or going in the sea, or on water rides, or playing table tennis.

I probably wouldn't ever go skiing.

I've never been. Everyone I know who has skied has pulled a muscle or hurt their knee, and as a sportsman, I'm not that interested. I'd like to go and enjoy the après-ski but I'd rather stick to going down on a sledge.

At the end of the season I have a big blow-out.

I always go to somewhere like Ibiza and I don't do anything for 10 days except drinking, relaxing and partying. I've been to Vegas 12 times. I love it; it's three days of absolute carnage. You turn up, have a little party and then a night out and then the next day a pool party and after that another big night out. At the end of the three days, it is absolute hell and you say you're never going to go to Vegas again. And then you're back in training and spend the next eight months talking about how you want to go back.

Rugby takes you around the world, but you don't get to see much.

I've been to Japan, France, New Zealand – all of the rugby-playing countries. I try to do things when I'm there but you don't usually see much apart from a training field, a hotel and a stadium. Although you want to do stuff and be cultural, you have to conserve your energy because you are there to perform.

Paris is my favourite city in the world.

It's got beautiful architecture and great restaurants. I like Tokyo as well because it's a mix of temples, big developments and bright lights.

The sea in Tobago is pretty incredible.

I remember once I was over there coaching some people at rugby and they had a barbecue and cooked a pork dish. We sat waist-deep in the sea on plastic chairs, watching the sun go down and eating. It was amazing.

Sin City: Haskell has visited 12 times

I sometimes go to a hotel in Dubai on my own for a week.

The Royal Mirage is everything I want in a hotel. It's got an amazing pool area and the level of service is just incredible. Everything is very luxurious.

The Millennium Stadium with the roof down is unbelievably loud.

Rugby fans sometimes quieten down but not in that stadium; they just keep getting louder and louder. I enjoyed playing in Wellington, in New Zealand, that was pretty special. And South Africa too; the Kings Park Stadium was wicked.

Wherever I go, I Google the best places for breakfast.

I'll try to visit all of them. We went to Denver recently, to the World Cup training camp, and I found some great breakfast places there and good coffee shops too. If you give me eggs benedict, or pancakes, or waffles, or banana bread and then a coffee, I'm happy. I'm open to new stuff but I probably wouldn't go too off piste with breakfast. That's why I love America so much.

Driving around the West Coast of America was amazing.

It was three weeks and I'd never really done anything like that before. It was the first time I felt independent.

Sometimes I only get four days' notice before a holiday.

You just get told: “Right, next week you're having a week off.” Sometimes it means I go away on my own but I'm happy doing that. So I don't know when my next holiday will be. I think it will be a short week somewhere, probably Dubai, or Greece, because I haven't really done that and I quite fancy going.

Rugby player James Haskell is encouraging men to take part in Bowel Cancer UK's Decembeard campaign (decembearduk.org)

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