The Cardiff and Wales loosehead talks to us over coffee (with a tropical edge).

What’s your beverage of choice? Coconut flat white. I like something with a bit of a twist, and this is just your classic flat white but with coconut milk instead of dairy. [Cardiff hooker] Liam Belcher got me into it.

What are you watching on TV? I’m boring with stuff like that. I’m not a big TV watcher, unless it’s football. I’m Liverpool mad. I had a Cardiff City season ticket for years, but when I first watched them they were in league two. Liverpool have always been my Premier League club.

What would be the soundtrack to your career highlights reel? The music I normally listen to is quite depressing, so this would need to be something upbeat. ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries would get the crowd going.

Who would write a book about your life? Roald Dahl probably! I’ll tell you what though: I could write a book about Elliot Dee’s life.

Who is your best mate in rugby? 'Azzer' - Keiron Assiratti - is my good mate. Me, Elliot, Ryan Elias and Azzer are in a little clique here in the Wales camp. As front rowers, we all gravitate towards each other.

Where do you call home? I live in Tonyrefail now, but Gilfach Goch will always be my home. I’d describe it as rough and ready!

Where’s your ideal holiday destination? A few years back me and the missus had a nice holiday to Crete. I’d definitely like to go back. We had a nightmare start though: we booked through a third-party company and instead of a five-star hotel we were in a hostel five hours’ drive away from where we were meant to be. It got sorted in the end, but it was a stressful beginning.

What are some of the less obvious challenges to being a rugby player? The mental side of it is probably the toughest thing. Everyone can see how tough it is physically, but not so much how psychologically adaptable you have to be. You might be playing one week and not the next, so it’s challenging and you have to change how you approach things. People who aren’t in the environment wouldn’t understand how much of a toll that can take. You’ve got to find a way to cope and overcome that yourself.

And what’s the best part? You’re living every young kid’s dream, aren’t you? Most people in Wales grow up dreaming of playing for their country one day, and I’m in a privileged enough position to do that; to give everything to the jersey, for my family and all the supporters. It’s massively rewarding, but also requires big sacrifices.

Which teammate would be your ideal backpacking companion? Probably Elliot Dee. You’d get plenty of stories from him, even if you’re hearing them for the fourteenth time.

Ireland v Wales, Saturday 24th February, 14:15, Aviva Stadium, Dublin.