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20 Questions: Jake Cooper-Wooley – Wasps prop

 Jake Cooper-WooleyEnjoying your first top-flight season?

Loving it. Never expected to play as much but Wasps threw me in the deep end, trusted me and I’m taking my chance.

How did you get spotted?

Not sure. Maybe Dai Young saw me playing for Cardiff University in a Varsity match, or for Cardiff in the Welsh Premiership.

Started at Dorking RFC?

Yes. A few guys come from there and George Kruis (Saracens) and Chris York (Newcastle) are good friends. We won the U17s National Cup together.

You were on Harlequins’ radar?

I was in the EPDG at Quins when I was at school. But when I reached sixth form I decided pro rugby wasn’t for me, so just played for Dorking then went to Uni.

No rugby ambitions then?

Not really. But at Uni I thought I should take it seriously again. Coming from Uni rugby to the Premiership is massive for me.

What did you study?

Geography. I was quite good at it at school without having to put too much effort in, so I just went to Uni to get a degree under my belt.

College life good for you?

A lot of boys leave school and go straight into academies, so I consider myself lucky to have got my degree and lived a bit as well.

Played any other sports?

I competed in the England Schools Championship at shot-putt. I was always a heavy-set kid so that was good. I was a decent all-rounder at cricket, but without any subtlety, and played a bit of football.

Who do you lodge with?

Young Jack Moates. It’s an experience and he reminds me of my student days… highly scruffy, doesn’t understand the dishwasher process. Thinks if he puts stuff on top of it, it will somehow end up clean!

Who does the cooking?

We eat separate stuff. I’m fussy and wouldn’t trust him to cook me dinner! My speciality is chicken Parma with mozzarella.

If you could invite three special dinner guests?

Definitely NOT James Haskell! I’d go for Jay Z, to get stories and style tips off; Leonardo DiCaprio because I love his movies; and Rihanna.

If you could be another sportsman?

Cristiano Ronaldo… great rig, good looking, tanned, richest bloke in the world, on fire, bangs in the goals in front of 80,000 every week. That’d be all right!

How do you chill-out?

Love the cinema and often visit the swimming pool for a Jacuzzi or sauna, just to get the battered body right. It’s a nice way to relax.

Pet hates or annoyances?

People not putting stuff in the dishwasher! Driving is bad… people not checking mirrors, not being able to use roundabouts and not indicating.

What was your first car?

Still got it… an old Golf Mk.4 known as the ‘Green Bullet’. I only learned to drive in 2012 after Uni but am looking to upgrade to a BMW.

Any superstitions?

If anyone talks to me about injuries or how I’m playing, I have to say ‘touch wood’ immediately… and they do, too. Drives them mad but must be done.

Tell us something about Dai Young?

He loves getting involved in scrum training. If you do something wrong you have to scrum down against him and, believe me, he can still do it. He’s a big, strong man and I challenge anyone in pro rugby to out-scrum him!

Best and worst dressed at Wasps?

Worst is Haskell, without doubt. The amount of cash he’s earned and he can’t put one nice outfit together. Tragic! Best is Josh Bassett… cool kid.

International ambitions?

I’m happy just playing rugby. You have to be ambitious but it’s all about the here and now and if anything comes off the back of that, excellent.

Wasps’ season to date?

We’ve done ourselves no favours at times and it’s not been clicking recently. But we’re looking for a big finish to end on a high.

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