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20 Questions: Greig Tonks – London Irish fly-half

Greg TonksWhat’s the mood before Harlequins?

We had a little bit of a rest so hopefully we will go to the game fresh. We’re going into it confident after our game against them three weeks ago where we nearly beat them in the Challenge Cup.

How do you approach that must-win game?

I think it makes things easier in a way because the goal is pretty clear. You don’t have to worry about what will happen mathematically. If we lose this game we’re getting relegated.

Do you allow yourself to think about relegation?

It’s natural that everyone has one eye on the future, but to be honest, as a team, everyone is pretty focused on the game. We have to give it our all, see what happen and reassess after that.

Unfortunately it’s not in your hands?

We can’t worry about what Newcastle are doing. It’s a matter of us beating Quins and that’s all we’re thinking about right now.

How do you plan to do that?

We played them recently and nearly won so we know what works well and what doesn’t. So hopefully we will execute well and get the result we’re after.

What came out of the Newcastle game in the last round?

A lot of good stuff even if we had to be more clinical. We were so close from their line so many times but we couldn’t get over the line and score a try.

Is it what cost you this season?

There’s been so many games we lost narrowly this season. We are seven points behind but all we needed was that one try in a few games and things would have been looking differently for us. It’s the frustrating thing from this season.

Personally, how are things going after six weeks at the club?

Obviously the position in the league is difficult but I knew that when I came. Despite what is happening we have a great bunch of players and an amazing set up. I’m really enjoying my time and I’m happy here.

It is hard to make an impact in such a short period of time?

You can only come into the team and try your best to help the team out. That’s what I tried to do but a lot of things are out of my hands. We have an interesting couple of weeks to see what happens.

How did the move from Edinburgh come about?

Irish had some injuries and the opportunity to come down arose. I followed the club for a long time so I took that opportunity.

What do you take from your time in Edinburgh?

I had an amazing four years there. It was an amazing place to live. It was good for me and I managed to play for Scotland. But things change and it was time for me to move on.

Do you still think about Scotland?

Yes of course. When I left the coaches said it doesn’t really matter where you play, you just have to play well.

Coming through the Leicester academy before moving to Northampton?

I spent three years at the Tigers when I left school. I played for Nottingham on loan and then I went to Northampton for two years. I got more exposure there and it was my big break.

First met Glenn Delaney in Nottingham?

Yes and that helped for the move to Irish. It made the whole thing easier.

You were born in South Africa, do you remember anything from there?

No, my parents lived there for a couple of years but we moved back to the UK when I was a month old. So I’m not exactly South African.

If not rugby, what would you be doing?

I have got an economics degree so I’ll probably be in a boring job somewhere in the city.

Favourite cheat meal?

I have got a few but a peperoni passion from Domino’s Pizza is my favourite.

Three special dinner guests?

Ricky Gervais, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. That would make for an interesting table.

Best and worst banter at London Irish?

Worst is Alex Lewington but the best is Scott Steele.

Best and worst dressed at the club?

Worst is Geoff Cross by a mile. Sean Maitland thinks he is the best. He tries the hardest anyway.

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