Giant Aironi lock Carlo Del Fava helped make history earlier this year as part of the first Italian side to claim the scalp of France in the RBS 6 Nations.
But the 30-year-old has yet to taste victory in the Herons’ colours in the RaboDirect PRO12 – a statistic Del Fava is desperate to put right heading into 2012.
1. What’s the strangest Christmas gift you’ve ever received?Probably a pair of socks. I can’t remember who they were from but they weren’t very creative, obviously!
2. What’s your favourite thing about Christmas? Definitely the family time. The Christmas meal and the festive time we spend together. I’ll be spending this Christmas in Italy with my immediate family, my wife Michelle and my three kids, Nathan, 8, Anthony, 4, and Samantha who is six-months-old.
3. Tell us your all-time favourite Christmas movie? Elf. Will Ferrell is really funny. I saw it a couple of years ago but it seems to be on every year and gets me in the spirit.
4. What’s your favourite Christmas song? Silent Night by Sinead O’Connor. She has a beautiful voice and it’s soothing and everyone stays quiet when it’s on. It’s a real classic Christmas song and brings all those feelings of Christmas with it.
5. What’s your worst-ever Christmas experience? Fortunately I don’t really have one, touch wood. I only have good memories with my family.
6. What’s your favourite Christmas decoration? Probably the snowman we have on the gate in the front garden. It has lights around it and we usually put it up at the beginning of December and the kids really look forward to seeing it when they come back from school.
7. Which RaboDirect PRO12 player would you like to have as your secret Santa? That would have to be one of the guys with the biggest contracts wouldn’t it? I’m not going to put anyone on the spot though!
8. Which RaboDirect PRO12 player would you invite around for Christmas Day? It wouldn’t be one, it would be a few. Quintin Geldenhuys, Josh Furno and Nick Williams would be good fun and would certainly keep the missus busy in the kitchen trying to feed them!
9. If you were one of Santa’s reindeer, what would your name be? Rudolph, obviously being at the front as one of the forwards seems the most appropriate.
10. What’s the worst Christmas present you’ve been given? I keep referring to the socks but there’s not really been any time where I can remember being given a bad gift. Even the last Secret Santa was a good one from Tom Court at Ulster. He got me a really funny book called Who Ate My Cheese by John Nichols.
11. Which rugby player in the RaboDirect PRO12 would make the best Santa? Probably Salvatore Perugini. He’s the godfather of Aironi and he’s a really generous guy. I think personality-wise he’d be my Santa for this year.
12. What’s been your highlight of 2011? The birth of my daughter Samantha. This will be her first Christmas and we’re really looking forward to it. On the rugby side I’d say beating France in the RBS 6 Nations. It was the first time we had beaten them in the competition and it was a great game.