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Martyn Williams answers your questions

Martyn Williams
By Martyn Williams
Wales and Lions flanker

Q: Who are the best - and worst - players you've shared a room with on tour?
'Arrys White & Blue Army

Andrew Sheridan
Sheridan has been to blame for Williams' lack of sleep in Johannesburg

A: I've shared with three so far - Nathan Hines at Pennyhill Park before we came out, Andrew Sheridan in Johannesburg and Riki Flutey in Rustenburg.

They were all great lads but Andrew would have to be the worst because of his snoring.

I haven't slept much during the last week because of that. On the plus side he's a brilliant guitar player and has been keeping me entertained.

Q: Nugget, are the players doing another "Living with the Lions" video for this tour?

A: Yes, they are. Two guys have been following us 24/7, filming us at training, at games and in the evenings. Everyone remembers the original video - it seems to be required viewing for all rugby players.

I bought it as soon as it came out in 1997 and watched it over and over again. People forget that there were also videos in 2001 and 2005. Because we lost and there wasn't the same social side to those tours, people don't remember them.

Q: I also want to know what the tour song is. I remember it was "Wonderwall" 12 years ago - do you have one this time around?

Jamie Roberts
Roberts is great on the guitar but his taste in music leaves something to be desired

A: Not at the moment, although there's been a lot of music on this tour.

Tommy Bowe, Jamie Roberts and Andrew Sheridan are brilliant guitar players, Joe Worsley has been impressing us on the piano in reception at our hotel in Jo'burg and Riki Flutey is never shy about his singing. In fairness, he's got a tremendous voice.

Q: Who's got the worst taste in music?

A: Riki Flutey and Jamie Roberts are in charge of picking the music to play on the coach. Riki has done well, going for some uplifting stuff, but I've not been too impressed with Jamie to tell you the truth. He's gone for a lot of slow, cheesy, romantic stuff.

Q: Is it true that Donncha O'Callaghan had a punch-up with Andy Powell in training?

A: Andy had told me there had been rumours about this back home and we haven't got a clue where they've come from!

Training has been really tough and intense, but there haven't been any punch-ups. Honestly!

Q: Who has the most embarrassing nickname and whose nickname suits them best?

Martyn Williams
This is what you get when you argue with Joe Worsley's head

A: Joe Worsley and Gethin Jenkins are both 'Melon' because of the size of their heads. I felt Joe's head with full force in the game on Saturday and have got a nice shiner to show for it.

Stephen Jones is 'Count', because he looks like Dracula. As for me, I've been 'Nugget' for as long as I can remember. In fact my wife's the only person who calls me Martyn. It started when I was at school and I don't really know where it came from.

Q: How much contact do you have with the players from the other nations during a regular season?

A: I know a lot of them from from 2001 and 2005 - guys like Simon Shaw, Brian O'Driscoll and Ronan O'Gara. But this is the first time a lot of us have mixed socially and it's been brilliant

Q: Who's the biggest joker on tour?

A: Donncha O'Callaghan is good value and very sharp. The other big joker is our fitness coach, Paul Stridgeon. He's always so upbeat.

Q: Who's had the biggest fine in court and what was it for?

Graham Rowntree
Scrum coach Graham Rowntree fined himself in training

A: There was a live scrummaging session - when two packs go up against each other - on our second day in South Africa.

The scrum kept collapsing, so Graham Rowntree fined the forwards.

In fairness, he fined himself as well. All the fines go towards things like group meals and local charities.

Q: What players have surprised you most in training?

A: I'd single out Luke Fitzgerald, Keith Earls and Tom Croft. They've really impressed me with their ability and attitude

Q: My missus would like to know who the hairiest man on tour is.

A: That's not one I've thought about much that.

But I think it's got to be our physio Bob Stewart though. He's got no hair on his head, but a tremendously hairy body.

Q: Are you worried about Springboks number eight Pierre Spies?

Pierre Spies
Pierre Spies is in breathtaking form for Super 14 champions Blue Bulls

A: I've got a lot of respect for him and know how dangerous the whole of the South African back row is.

Worried though? No.

If you're worried about the opposition as a rugby player then I think that you're in the wrong job

Q: Do you feel like a father figure to the younger players, such as Leigh Halfpenny and Keith Earls?

A: Those boys know how to look after themselves. The senior players are probably the most vocal of the group and the young lads ask us a lot of questions about things like previous tours.

They don't need any looking after though and everyone's held their own.

Q: What are you doing in your spare time? I know you have a large collection of foreign DVDs. Did you bring them out with you?

Foreign DVDs?! Not sure what you're getting at there! That's a new one to me.

Training has been very intense and we've spent our spare time chilling out, doing things like going shopping and having a coffee.

A lot of my time has been spent with the physios, trying to get over my shoulder injury. I think we've got a safari planned for the last week, which should be good.

Q: What are the main differences between the 2005 NZ and 2009 SA tours?

A: Everyone travelling and training together has been the biggest difference, which I talked about in my first column.

It's probably not a good idea to compare tours though. Perhaps that was a problem in 2001 and 2005 - everyone compared them to 1997, which was a tour you're never going to replicate

Q: Who is the quickest guy on tour?

There hasn't been a flat-out race yet, but I'd go for either Ugo Monye or Shane Williams. I wouldn't know which one to put my money on though.

Martyn Williams was talking to BBC Sport's Simon Austin

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see also
Lions win 'exceeded expectations'
04 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Golden Lions 10-74 Lions
03 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Golden Lions v Lions photos
03 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions call up Ireland back D'Arcy
03 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
O'Driscoll to lead new-look Lions
01 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions suffer Earls injury setback
31 May 09 |  Rugby Union
South Africa announce Lions squad
01 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions display worries O'Connell
30 May 09 |  Rugby Union
Royal XV 25-37 Lions
30 May 09 |  Rugby Union
2009 Lions: Squad & results
09 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions squad selector
07 May 09 |  Rugby Union
History of the Lions
02 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Mighty Boks: South African rugby
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union

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