What a Lad

What a Lad is a podcast by James Marshall who talks to and pranks some of the best lads in Rugby.

There's a new TV show about to launch called "Brother Battles". It's a show where some of the most famous brothers in the country go head to head in all sorts of challenges. With the catch being they'll be doing all of the challenges naked. As the man in charge of TV content, I thought who better to call up than Tasman Mako legend and NZ Maori star Jacob Norris. 

The Norris brothers have had a rapid rise through the ranks the last few seasons so to get them on a National TV, going toe to toe in random challenges, with the likes of the Savea brother and the Barretts would be great to see.

As you'll hear Jacob is such a good lad and I hope someone out there can make this show happen one day for him. If you enjoy this episode please give it a share and if you're enjoying the podcast please subscribe and go give it a 5 star review 🙏🏼

Joseph Sullivan, the Olympic Gold medalist in rowing, the 2 time Americas Cup winner with Team NZ and an absolute lad!

This really is an incredible story of someone who wasn't built to be an Olympic rower, who went on to become one of the greats. Purely through his mindset and effort. The story leading up to his Olympic gold medal moment is crazy. It's a moment that inspired the country and is one of the best moments in NZ sport ever. It won the best sporting moment of the decade at the Halberg awards last year.

It wasn't just pre the Olympic yarns that blew my mind, as how Joe was treated after the event was also unbelievable. I think many Olympic athletes would be able to relate, that once the big event you've trained so hard for is over, it's a real challenge to get back to a "normal" life. As he was battling away in a dark space, Team NZ randomly came into the equation and Joe became a 2 time Americas Cup winner as a champion grinder.

I really enjoyed hearing this story and as you'll hear Joe is an absolute lad who is pretty inspiring with what he has done. If you enjoy this episode please give it a share, comment or like so others can be inspired from this champion lad as well!

One of the greatest loose forwards in All Black history, @jeromekaino is on What a Lad this week and what a lad he is!

The humble enforcer who has had an incredible rugby career, having played for Auckland, the Blues, Toyota Verblitz, Toulouse and of course he is a double Rugby World Cup winner with the All Blacks. Jerome has just recently retired from playing the game, after helping Toulouse win the Champions Cup and Top 14 double and he has now made a seamless transition into coaching.

On the side Jerome along with his best mates, have started @mintwear.co which is a brand with the most comfortable undies I've tried. They also have a great message behind them around male body confidence and being all inclusive. If you're keen to try them with 20% off, head over to www.whatalad.com and all the information is on there.

As you'll hear in this episode Jerome is such humble, easy going lad. Everyone who has played with him always said what a great lad he is and he was often one of the first people to make them feel comfortable in a new environment. It was an absolute honour to have him on the podcast and go through his journey. If you enjoy it please give it a share.

Grateful to have the king lad Isaac John on What a Lad and man there was plenty to talk about in this one!

Starting with Isaac's successful NRL career, where he played for the Warriors, Panthers and Manly. He also got picked for the Kiwis from playing reserve grade!

Then we go through the transition into business after footy where he has excelled. He has started up the YKTR clothing brand, which has since expanded into YKTR sports and is growing very quickly. He also has a very successful podcast in the Ice Project and has recently launched the Inner circle which is an online education platform. He's making big moves and it was awesome to hear how he went about it.

As you'll hear Ice is an absolute lad, who has inspired so many throughout his journey, he's always willing to help others and is very generous with his time! If you enjoy this episode then please give it a share!

One of NZ best comedians and NZ today host Guy Williams joins me this week for an absolute classic yarn.

The local Nelson legend himself, has had a very eventful career and has never been shy to put himself out there. Which is great for us, as it means there was plenty of interesting insights to talk about in this episode.

Some of Guys achievements include winning the Billy T award for comedy, in 2014 he was voted the Sexiest man in NZ, he's reached the charts with his hit song 'the Pigeon Song', he's worked in Radio on the Edge and has been part of plenty of TV shows, where he now has his own show NZ Today which is one of the greats! If you haven't seen any of those episodes, I strongly recommend you go check them out on Youtube.

As you'll hear in this episode Guy is an absolute lad, who is obviously incredibly funny but he also has a deeper side to him and has plenty of knowledge to share. If you enjoy this episode please give it a share, tag what a lad podcast and you're a lad!


The man who possesses one of the deadliest side steps rugby has ever seen, Nehe Milner-Skudder, joins me this week on What a Lad to go through his rollercoaster journey.

It's so easy to talk up Nehe because he is such a champion lad, who throughout his career has always been so good to all of his fans, his team mates and the game.

On the rugby field he is lethal. For a period of time, he was carving up with every single touch of the ball, impossible to tackle 1 on 1 and he was the guy every kid in NZ wanted to be in the backyard. During that period, he won the Championship with Manawatu, he carved up Super Rugby with the Hurricanes and won the RWC with the All Blacks. He was flying! 
And then injury struck. It wasn't just one, it was injury after injury after injury, which has made it incredibly hard for him to get back to where he once was. However, what Nehe has done around speaking out about his struggles during his injuries, has been incredibly powerful for all other athletes. He is doing amazing work with mental health awareness by proving that even All Blacks can have their own struggles.

It was awesome to hear in this episode that Nehe still has aspirations to play at the highest level, so I'm super excited to continue to follow his journey back to the top.

As you'll hear in the episode, Nehe is an absolute lad whose rise to the top was pretty special to witness. If you enjoy this episode, please give it a share on your social media accounts, tag what a lad too so I can thank you personally.




There is no game without the man in the middle, so it was awesome to get one of the best referees in the world, Ben O' Keeffe on What a Lad to give an insight into one of the hardest jobs in the world. 

Ben, who at the age of 32 has quickly gone through ranks and is now one of the best in the game. Having recently returned from the Lions tour of South Africa, he gives some great insight into the pressure involved in being in charge of a test match like that. He also gives great insight into what life as a top referee is like.

Rugby is such a tough game to referee as the rules are all so subjective. Yet, after almost every game played, if you read the comments they'll mainly be bagging the ref and his decisions. I hope this episode sheds some light into how difficult the job is and the fact that if you look at a game from one teams perspective there is always going to be missed calls.

As you'll hear, Ben is a great lad, who loves his rugby and wants to do his best for the game. I certainly learnt a lot from this episode and I hope you do too.

If you enjoy this one or you know someone who is always abusing the referees, then please share this podcast with them so they can understand what its's like out there in the middle.

Luca Inch - Prank

It's been a long time between pranks but when you have a young lad like Luca Inch around your environment, a prank was never far away. Luca is one of the most promising front rowers in the country, having recently played for the NZ u20s and is also in the 2021 Tasman Mako squad, at just 19 years old. He's also an absolute character, literally always smiling and he is just a real good lad to be around. 

Anyway for the prank, I knew that he really liked Cory Jane, so I called him up as Darren (Cory Janes mate) from the NZRU to see if I could stay at his house for the weekend. 

Anyway have a listen, if you enjoy it please give it a share.

One of the great personalities in sport, Kurt Baker becomes the 100th guest on What a Lad and there's no better lad to raise the bat with!

Kurt's had an amazing career in the game and like most careers he's had his fair share of ups and downs. He's won everything possible in the NZ domestic game, ITM Cup Premiership and Championship, the Ranfurly Shield and of course Super Rugby with the Highlanders. A man potentially even more well known as the NZ 7s star has won World Cups, 2 Commonwealth Gold medals and has just returned home as an Olympic Silver Medalist.

Although he's had an incredibly successful career on the field, it's the way that he has carried himself off the field which will have the most impact. A man who has always been himself and stayed true to who he is, Kruto is one of those team mates who makes going to training fun! Never shy of a bit of nudity and has created an interesting trend of people getting naked on a team mates shoulder after winning something.

I really enjoyed this one with Kruto, he shares heaps of good advice throughout, as well as sharing some classic yarns along the way. If you enjoy this episode please give it a share so everyone can hear What a Lad Kurt Baker is!

Straight back from the Tokyo Olympics as an Olympic Silver Medalist, I was lucky enough to get the great Scotsman and the All Blacks 7s coach Clark Laidlaw on this week.

Clarky has an impressive coaching CV having coached Taranaki, The Hurricanes, London Irish and is now the Head Coach of the All Blacks 7s side.

I really enjoyed this episode, Clarky gave heaps of insight into the preparation to the Olympics and the actual event itself. We also discuss his time as an assistant coach at the Hurricanes and London Irish, where he shares some of the lessons he learnt from his experience at both of those clubs.

As you'll hear, Craig is an absolute lad, who loves rugby, who has coaches some of the best players in the world and is always willing to share his knowledge.

Also if you are keen to support his brothers Charity which Clark has biked 12 marathons in 12 days in isolation then follow this link below, its for a great cause https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/12in12in21



The proud Southern man, Jamie Mackintosh aka Whopper, joins me this week to go through his eventful career to date. 

During his time in NZ, Whopper was a highly rated school boy who played a record number of games for the NZ age grade sides, making NZ Schools at 16! He then went on to become the face of the Southland Stags, the Highlanders captain and was even capped for the All Blacks.

Whopper finished up in NZ rugby with the Chiefs and has since played all around the world including Montpellier, Ohio, Pau and he has just finished the MLR season in America with Austin. Now he is back in NZ, as the assistant coach of Otago for this seasons Bunnings Cup, ready to share his experience to the next generation.

Whopper sprinkles priceless advice throughout the podcast, in an episode you don't want to miss. As you'll also hear, the big marn is an absolute lad, who has loved a beer and a laugh throughout his career and happy to share his stories in his gifted story telling way.

If you enjoy this episode please give it a share, tag what a lad podcast it's very much appreciated.



Imagine a Super Rugby team made up of 2021 NRL players, the best players in League swapping codes, to compete in the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition. That's what we have done here in this podcast, so if you enjoy the NRL then this episode is for you.

To help select the side I have called on some NRL and Super Rugby gurus, in the form of Hurricanes star Jackson Garden-Bachop, ex Warriors Legend Charlie Gubb and Liam Mitchell the Hurricane and (keyboard) Warrior. These lads all bring some great insight which makes for some good debate in making our team. 

Congratulations to all the men who were named, proud day for you all I'm sure.

We are making some cool What a Lad Super Rugby Jerseys for this team, so if you are keen to have your own Jersey then head over to www.whatalad.com and check them out!

He's back! Tom Marshall, the Tasman Mako legend has returned to the province where it all started for him. I was lucky enough to get him around to the What a Lad Studio, to talk about his return and also where he is off to next!

Many of you would have already heard Toms journey to the top, in his episode in season 1, which gave us a good chance to get into some detail around his time in Japan. As well as that we discuss in depth about his return to the Tasman Mako! Toey also announces where he is off to next and answers plenty of great questions from you who sent them into the what a lad instagram account.

It's always a good laugh getting the brother on the podcast so if you enjoy this episode please give it a share, tag what a lad in it. Any support is very much appreciated!


One of NZ rugbys biggest names is off! Liam Mitchell the Hurricane and Manawatu Turbo legend, has decided to head off shore with a deal that no one saw coming. He tell's all exclusively to the What a Lad podcast just because he is an absolute lad. 

Many of you will already know the Liam Mitchell story from his What a Lad episode in season 1, where he shared is journey from being in the 4th XV at school, to becoming the leader of the Manawatu Bucketheads and then becoming an official Turbo the following year!

Now the great lad known as Chippy is off to ply his trade in Italy but as you'll hear thats about as much as he knows of the deal. It's always good getting good lads on the podcast, if you enjoy this episode then please give it share it's very much appreciated.

Youth suicide rates in NZ are out of hand and something needs to be done about it, so it was awesome to get the legend Solomon Alaimalo on What a Lad to openly share what he has been through. Even though he is so called 'living his dream' as a professional rugby player, the stresses and pressure that come with it can at some times be all too much. However the power of opening up and being vunerable is such a powerful tool, as Solomon has learnt through these difficult times. I hope this episode can help anyone out there who is finding life tough to be brave enough to talk about it.

Solomon has also had a very successful career, he was a school boy star at St Bedes College before starring in the ITM Cup for Northland as a youngster. He found himself in the Chiefs setup almost straight away and as thing can happen in Rugby, it all happened pretty quick. He's has since had stints with the Tasman Mako and Waikato and he is currently with the Highlanders and the Southland Stags. 

As you'll hear in this episode Solomon is an absolute lad, who has a massive future ahead of him. It's so awesome to hear where he is at now mentally and I'm excited to see how the next few years go!

If you enjoy this episode or you think that there's someone who would benefit from hearing it, please share it with them. It might just help someone who needs it the most.

To support the podcast head to www.whatalad.com 

The legendary lad Otere Black is off! Absolute heart break for NZ rugby, as he leaves NZ shores straight after guiding the Blues to their first Championship in a long time!

The beauty of him coming on the podcast is that you get the whole picture for his decision and you can understand why the 26 year old is heading to Japan. Oatsy talks about the offers that he received overseas, his options in NZ and how big of a factor Tokyo Disneyland played into his decision.

Anyone who is a regular listener to this podcast will have already heard the Otere Black journey, as he came on in season 1. What hasn't changed is that he is still an absolute lad, I could talk to this man for days so it was great to get him on again!

If you enjoy this episode please give it a share, all the support is much appreciated.


Unfortunately I can't release the Otere Black announcement episode I had planned, just yet. However I jumped on this podcast last week, which was hosted by Nelson College students Wil Thornalley and Ollie Inch. Both of these young men are very talented rugby players who have big futures in the game. Anyway I thought they did a great job, asked some good questions and had obviously put some time into it!

If you enjoy it give it a share for the lads!

A big couple of weeks coming up for What a Lad with some great guests lined up so stay right on!

Man I enjoyed this one with one of the Highlanders greats, Lima Sopoaga! Lima has had a very successful rugby career, having started with the Wellington Lions at just 18 and then moving down to the Highlanders not long after. He's also played for the Southland Stags and of course he's represented his country at the highest level, playing for the All Blacks! 

For the last 3 years Lima has been over in the UK playing for the Wasps, where he openly talks about the struggles that he had adjusting to the different style, something that I could really relate to.

In this episode we discuss everything from Limas time at school, his Super Rugby winning season with the Highlanders, including the famous kick over the head! We also discuss his time in the All Blacks, how hard it was missing out on the RWC squad and the reason for his move to the UK.

It was great to sit down and chat with one of NZs great lads and it was cool to hear all about his journey!

If you enjoy this episode please share it and if you really enjoy it, then please go and get yourself some lad merch, what a lad coffee or any sponsors product from...


Alex Malcom may not be your house hold name but if you do enjoy your rugby, then you probably know his Facebook page 'The Legend of Marty Banks'. His page is of course named after one of What a Lad listeners favourite guests, Marty Banks and to hear how the whole page came about is pretty crazy.

To think that Alex now gets asked for his autograph or for a selfie at rugby games, for being the man behind a social media page, is something that he is still getting use to. From being a self acclaimed "awful" rugby player, to starting up this page as a bit of a joke, it's pretty cool to see where it is at now.

After hearing how much time that Alex puts into his page, it's no wonder that he has had the success that he has. To think that he has done it all for his love of the game is pretty inspiring stuff. As you'll here Alex is a lad who is looking to use his platform to have a positive influence on the game which is awesome to hear!  Also if you haven't heard of his page go give it a follow


Also if you want any information on What a Lad products or sponsors discounts head over to




Reed Prinsep is a great lad who has always enjoyed wearing his Speedos. So what we've got here is an old prank from the archives, where our What a Lad prank expert Mark Abbott, calls a young Reedo and offers him the deal of a life time to team up with Speedos. 

As you'll hear this prank, it really tests the composure of even one of the great pranksters and Reedo handles himself like the lad he is, under all sorts of pressure.

As always if you enjoy this episode please share it and if you're keen to help support the podcast, head over to www.whatalad.com and go place a bid on one of the WLR jerseys!


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