‘And you can ask that horse, ‘Hey, Horsey, do you want to have a drink?” Meet the rugby star behind the strangest sports interview you will ever see

‘And you can ask that horse, ‘Hey, Horsey, do you want to have a drink?” Meet the rugby star behind the strangest sports interview you will ever see


In Canada, land of the grinders and the good Canadian kids and the boys just giving their all, interesting sports interviews are about as common as a Maple Leafs’ Stanley Cup. So it is perhaps unsurprising that Canadians seemed to take such delight this week in the viral clip of a bearded weirdo talking about rugby in England.

Joe Marler, a loosehead prop for Harlequins and the English national rugby team, was giving an interview to his club PR man ahead of a game against Bath this weekend when a metaphor about horseback riding got away from him. It eventually devolved into a deadpan Marler, who is, it should be pointed out, very good at rugby, speaking to a metaphorical horse, and then as that horse, except maybe that horse was a little bit Irish?

By Friday afternoon, the clip posted to the official Harlequins team account had 4.5 million views.

For those outside the strange and insular world of rugby fandom, it seemed, perhaps, like an interview gone wrong. But those who follow the game recognized that it was just Marler being Marler. He is one of the strangest, most contrary and unpredictable figures in a sport that has more than its share of odd characters. He has, on the one hand, a reputation for more than occasional dirtyplay. He is, on the other, the kind of guy to go on a talk show in shorts and fuzzy vest to perform a cover of Adele.

The Internet is littered with weird and funny Marler moments.

He once failed a quiz about himself in an interview:

He once made fun of a referee’s boots while on the field:

He once stood in the back of a press conference pointing out how few reporters were there:

Marler retired from international rugby last year, only to return for this fall’s World Cup (England, with Marler playing a key role off the bench, made it to the final). During his brief retirement, he told the story on a podcast of how he refused to come off the field for a substitute in what he thought was his last game. (It involves him telling an assistant coach to tell the head coach to get f*$%ed.)

Harlequins, with Marler starting at prop, play Bath in the Champions Cup on Saturday.

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