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Corey Jane autobiography

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    Corey Jane autobiography

    Wasn´t sure if its own thread was worthy, but some of the excerpts from Corey Jane´s autobiography is comedy gold...

    the bit about the Franks brothers had me biting on my fist so I wouldn´t laugh out loud in the office...

    There is an awful lot to take in when you first make the All Blacks and it helps to have someone you can rely on to make sure you are getting everything right.

    That man for me was Piri Weepu. When I first made the team, I texted him constantly to make sure I had the right times for meetings and training and promotions. I was petrified I was going to miss something and Piri was good at making sure I never did.

    For all his qualities, though, you do not want to room with him. That man is a world-class snorer, and Hosea Gear and Julian Savea are also in the snoring hall of fame.

    When Julian snores, it sounds like a pit bull choking on a chicken bone. I'm never sure whether to throw a pillow at him or call an ambulance. It's a horrible feeling to be genuinely considering the prospect of having to give your team-mate mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in the middle of the night.

    The other annoying thing about Julian is that he is always on his phone. I don't know whether cellphone companies have got him on the payroll to check just how much a person can use one of their products before it explodes but, if he's not, he should be.

    Julz and I roomed together in South Africa in 2014 and, when I went to sleep, Julz was sitting up in bed, on his phone. When I woke in the middle of the night, Julz was lying at the end of his bed, on his phone, and when I woke early in the morning, he was sitting on a chair, on his phone. And when I woke a little later he was finally asleep, snoring. On the floor.

    Who stays up all night on his phone and then goes to sleep on the floor of his own room? We don't let Julz bring his PlayStation on tour now because, if he does, he's up all night playing it. The phone is bad enough.

    When he's in a grump, it's no longer your room, it's his room. Izzy Dagg felt the wrath of Savea in Argentina, when he got to his room to find it latched from the inside.

    'Julz, let me in!' he pleaded.

    'Nope, come back in five minutes,' came the terse response from inside.

    'Julz, but it's my room, too.'

    'Don't care. Come back in five minutes.'

    And he doesn't just pick on the backs, either. In Chicago that year, a few of the lads were in Izzy's room on the PlayStation when Liam Messam wandered in. He just took a seat on the bed and sat watching.

    'Liam, what's up bro?' I asked.

    'Julz is in a grump,' he said.

    We all knew what that meant: he'd kicked Liam out of the room.

    Anyone who knows me, is aware I am probably the messiest guy in the team. I am the master of the 'floordrobe' so I always make a beeline for the bed furthest from the door.

    If I don't, it'll just be a matter of time before the far side of the room is inaccessible . . . clothes, bags, gadgets, wet towels, assorted books, shoes and anything else that started life pressure-packed into my gear bag.

    The All Blacks' long-term bag man Errol 'Poss' Collins used to hate grabbing my bag because he was convinced the slightest bump and everything would pop out like confetti.

    If I'm the messiest guy in the team, Izzy Dagg is the smelliest. I don't get too close to him to quantify this assertion but, please, take my word for it.

    Izzy is also a sucker for ritual and one of the worst is that from his shower, following the captain's run on a Friday, until the pre-match meal on Saturday, he has to wear his compression tights.

    Now it's one of those unfortunate circumstances that we are often put in the same room on tour and, aside from being smelly, he is almost as messy as me. That means there is always the danger of our clothes getting mixed up and, as any floordrobe aficionado knows, the only way to truly decipher the clean from the dirty after a while is through the age-old smell test.

    On one occasion, I picked up a pair of compression tights off the floor and brought them to the nose for an olfactory investigation.

    They were definitely not my tights. They were the tights of the devil. Izzy thought it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen - me, almost fainting from the horrendous nasal invasion. All I could think of was his poor wife Daisy. That she has to put up with this man is one of life's great tragedies.

    Every time Izzy runs the ball back, his tongue is sticking out. You don't know whether to tackle him, or hand him a stamp. If he was able to run any faster the thing would be slapping against his cheeks. One day he's going to trip over it.

    More often than not, the All Blacks management will put you in a room with someone who has similar tastes, and a similar disposition. Sometimes, though, you get a surprisingly different kind of roomie.

    It was on just such an occasion when I found myself sharing a room with Ben Franks. Now if little brother Owen Franks is quiet, Ben is positively mute.

    There are only two things that Ben wants to talk about: lifting weights and lifting heavier weights.

    It's rare for a back to be put in with a forward on tour but, for some reason - maybe as a punishment for some training ground indiscretion - I found myself face-to-face with the big bear.

    The problem with the Franks boys is not their personalities, it's their dedication to eating, sleeping and training. They're the only two guys I know, who after winning the Rugby World Cup final in 2011, went to the gym first thing in the morning. They could very well be the only two guys in the history of any World Cup in any sport who have celebrated victory by doing 10 reps of 240kg. Most of us hadn't even made it to bed by the time they were busy lifting whatever they could get their hands on. Which brings me to the night in question.

    I don't mind a man chucking tin. I don't mind a man setting up his own gymnasium in my room (and the Franks brothers both set up their own gymnasiums in their tour rooms; they have special weights freighted with the team kit). I don't even mind not talking for extended periods of time. But what I do mind is waking up sometime close to midnight to find Ben Franks deadlifting my bed. While I am sleeping in it.

    'Oh, hey, Ben. What you doing there, mate?' I asked in my most timid voice.

    'Had to work out, CJ,' he grunted.

    'Do you think you could work out with your bed, there, Ben?'


    'Ah, why not big fella?'

    'Need the extra weight.'

    I was the extra weight. It was bad enough having to endure three sets of deadlifts, but then he felt the need to do shoulder presses as well.

    I was too scared to get out of bed and, anyway, considering I was suddenly lying at a 45-degree angle with my feet in the air and my head buried in my pillow, I was in no position to make a quick escape even if I had wanted to.

    Mind you, I figured having him lifting my bed was preferable to having him want to jump in it with me.

    The whole team has been affected by Owen Franks' insatiable appetite for protein.

    Kat Darry, our nutritionist, takes pride in making sure the boys always have enough to eat and drink on tour, and she's meticulous in her planning. As well as the normal stuff, the team goes through a fair amount of protein powder, especially after gym sessions and heavy trainings. Kat will stock enough protein for the week's training load in the team room, but you can guarantee by the second day it is all gone. And you can guarantee it has gone to Owen Franks' room.

    I don't know what he does with it all, but I just picture him, sitting in his room in nothing but his undies, looking out the window vacantly, while spooning fistfuls of protein powder from a 5kg tub into his mouth.

    We all know Owen is the culprit, but I have only ever once challenged him on it.

    'So, ah, does it taste good, Owen, all this stuff?' I asked, trying to break the ice.

    'Nah,' came the articulate reply.

    'Then why do you eat it all the time?'

    'Because I get gains.'

    'What? Like abs and things like that?'

    'Nah. Just like smashing people.'

    I let this sink in for a couple of seconds. I was face-to-face with the beast, who I had caught red-handed, but now I was in a quandary: Owen knew that I knew that the product was there. He knew that I knew that he was using that product. But he also knew that I knew there wasn't a single thing I was going to do about it. Well, I thought, a man's gotta try.

    'Do you think we could have some?' I asked, in my politest voice.

    'Go get your own.'

    'Well, Owen, you see, that kind of is the team's protein.'

    'Nah. That's my protein.'

    'Well, actually Owen, that's supposed to be for all of us.'

    'It's in my room. It's my protein.'

    Being a man of courage, a crusader for justice and a brave and tireless campaigner for the rights of the team, I thought about things for a minute or so and then I did what any other man would have done in that situation: I apologised to him for the interruption, said goodbye, and left him to it. Note to self: don't get between Owen and a meal.
    He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

    Individually the Franks brothers are, well, interesting. Together they are a complete sideshow. They are the only two blokes I know who pack their own cooler bags every morning. They have all the food they need for the day - shakes, salads, vegetables, newborn babies - and they are extremely particular about when they eat it, right down to the minute.

    One major hurdle when dealing with either of them is trying to decipher their facial expression. And I mean that to be singular. Pain, happiness, anger, distress, joy and despair have been reduced to just one look by the Brothers Franks.

    Actually, I did once see Ben show emotion. It was while we were both playing for the Hurricanes against the Crusaders in 2014. I had put a (perfectly executed) chip kick over the rush defence and Blade Thomson had regathered and sprinted 40 metres to score.

    We were celebrating in the corner when all of a sudden Franksy came steaming in, chahooing with delight and picked me up off the ground. I now know what a salmon feels like, just before it gets eaten by a grizzly bear.

    The boys couldn't believe it. This was a massive breach of Ben Franks protocol. This is a guy who is so concerned with the effects of dehydration that he won't even shed a tear.

    This is a guy who has modelled his emotional range on the Terminator. I don't know what the boys were more excited about, Blade's try or Franksy's celebration of it!

    The funniest thing was, he suddenly realised that he was smiling and enjoying himself so he dropped me on the ground and walked back to halfway. It was a glimpse, though - just enough to convince us that there might be more to the big fella than skinless chicken and weights. Afterwards, in the sheds, we gave him man of the match.

    'I didn't do much out there, to be honest,' he said.

    'No, Franksy. But the fact you joined a try celebration was enough for us!'

    For the record, Franksy denies ever being involved in any such public show of affection. And none of us have seen him smile since.
    He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.


      Hmmmm...... Think I'll stick with War and Peace.
      Erse end of nowhere