WE catch up with Wire’s former Wigan Warriors winger Josh Charnley to discuss life away from rugby.

As well as his family time and recently moving house, he loves nothing more than spending time on the banks of lakes fishing for carp – sometimes hooking up with familiar names.

Q: Fishing’s a world away from rugby league, Josh?

A: “People do different things away from rugby. Some do golf, I’ve always done fishing and farming.

“I like to get away from it all, it relaxes you, you don’t get bothered by anyone, and if you’re lucky enough to catch you end up with a decent fish.”

Q: You are bubbly around the lads so fishing brings out a different side of you then?

A: “I know it might sound mad but I do like my own company, getting away for a few days. It’s what I need sometimes. The lifestyle we live is hectic, it’s intense training, so that little break away from it does help a bit.”

Warrington Guardian:

Q: Do you get frustrated, though, if you don’t catch?

A: “Yeah, because you think about what you could be doing wrong or right and then you get earache when you get in off the Mrs because you’ve been away for two days and not caught a fish.”

Q: You fish overnight sometimes then?

A: “Sometimes. I’m lucky if I get 24 hours in once a month. The other day I went for a couple of hours but I was getting mullered off all of the mosquitoes so I had to do one.”

Q: So you set up with your bivvy tent and camping stove?

“Yeah, I’ve got everything. I look the part but I just need fish.”

Warrington Guardian:

Q: Did you start fishing when you were young?

A: “Yes, my nan first took me years and years ago. Then I didn’t fish for a while, but Sam Powell at Wigan had always done it so I got back into it with him.

“There’d be me, Sam, Oliver Gildart and Lewis Tierney going. Then Sam Tomkins tried taking it up. He had a pond near his house where we went. It was a decent little crew that used to go.

“Now sometimes I go with Sam Powell and two other lads from back where I live, or sometimes I go on my own.

“There’s a pond about a mile from my house with some good fish in, so any chance I get – as soon as the kids go to bed – I’m off.”

Q: When you were young it was probably about tiddlers and how many you caught?

A: “Yeah. Just being out and being sat behind a little float watching it bob up and down is exciting as a kid but when you’re a bit older you want that thrill of hearing your buzzers (bite alarms) go. There’s no better a feeling.”

Q: When did you change to trying to catch the big fish?

A: “Only a few years ago. I literally went all out and bought everything. I’m the person who’s got all the gear with no idea.”

Q: You must have learnt from somewhere looking at the pictures of the catches you’ve had?

A: “I watch YouTube and pick it up. I look the part, but it’s pot luck at the end of the day.”

Q: If there’s a common theme between fishing and rugby league, it’s skill and science isn’t it, because you can’t just drop a line in and think you’re going to catch?

A: “It’s how you present the hook bait depending on what floor you’re fishing on – whether it’s weed, silt, rock hard – every time you go you’re learning something new about fishing on a lake.

“And it’s competitive as well. When me and Sam go, we’re buzzing if one of us catch but we want our catch to be bigger.”

Q: So is that a part of the sport that you like, that just like in rugby you can continue to develop and learn?

A: “Yeah. You watch these YouTube videos and they’re catching big fish, and you want to be behind that fish holding it.

“Every time you go you’re learning something new and you get better.

“And it’s like when I go to work, we’re striding to get better as a team and as individuals.

“I think that’s just engrained in us all - every time we go out and do something we want to give it our all. I’m like that with anything I do.”

Q: What’s the biggest fish you’ve caught?

A: “Mine’s a 25lb mirror carp, nothing too big, but big enough for me.”

Warrington Guardian:

Q: And what about the one that got away?

A: “I fished a match the other week in a competition for ITV4. Every time the cameras came round, I lost three double-figure fish. That hurt. As soon as I went to net them, they were gone.

“There was me, Tom Briscoe, Dom Crosby and Jamie Jones-Buchanan as a rugby league team against teams from darts, football, boxing, netball and ring girls.

“We were way behind in the first half, but in the second half we pulled it out of nowhere to win by 2lbs.

“There were celebrities there, Barry Hearn was there as the organiser, Jimmy Bullard fished it as did David Seaman, so there was good high-profile sportsmen and it was good to put a marker down for rugby league.”

Q: Have you taken your son Arlo fishing yet?

“I took him a few weeks ago and he didn’t have a clue.

“He just kept lifting the rod up and down and splashing it in the water.

“He’s two-and-half, so he’s still young. He’ll sit and watch it on telly. And every time I go to the fishing shop he wants a new teddy – there’s different size carp, pike and all sorts.

“I hope he’s interested in years to come. I like getting away and hopefully he’ll get into it.

“As soon as I put my bivvy tent up at home to air out, he gets in it and plays in it, the bedchair comes out, he’s diving in and out of it. So he’s already used to it all.”

Q: What else is going on in your life?

A: “I moved house two months ago, so we’re just getting our bearings around that.

“We’re trying to find furniture that we like, but we don’t see eye to eye. We’re not rushing.

“We’ve got the kids’ rooms sorted, that’s the main thing. We’ve just got a bed and TV in ours and that’s it. All the clothes are just scattered on the top floor. It’s a bit hectic.

“We didn’t realise how much stuff we had. I only had a little two-bed terraced house and after moving into the new one I can’t believe how much stuff we actually have.

“I’ve got a garage full and two rooms on the top floor which are rammed. We need to have a big clear-out.”

Q: So that’s why the Mrs has a go at you when you go fishing and don’t catch because you could have been sorting all this out?

A: “Yeah, I could have been clearing boxes. There’s a time and a place for that.

“If I get time off, I do want to be on the bank instead of organising boxes and doing DIY. That’s not my forte.

“I do have to rest the body as well. When I’m sat on my bedchair with a brew on the bank it’s not too bad.”

Q: And you’ve had the international recall this year too, and now waiting for the Great Britain tour selections to be announced?

A: “I’m glad to be back in the mix. I just need to get back from this knee injury and try and earn my stripes.

“If I get that call coming up in a few weeks’ time that I’m selected for the squad it’s going to be big not just for me but for my whole family who have always been there for me.”

Warrington Guardian:

Q: You missed the Challenge Cup semi-final with the knee injury, you must have been disappointed about that?

A: “I was massively gutted to miss the semi final. It was tough to watch for me, but a good game to spectate.

“I’m just glad we got the win. The week before we hadn’t played to our best, so for the lads to turn up in the big game and get the win was pleasing.”

Q: If you recover in time and are selected, how many Challenge Cup finals will this be for you?

A: “I’ve won two, lost one, off the top of my head.”

Q: You’re one of the more experienced cup final players in the squad, then. What advice would you give to the guys around you?

A: “It is a big stage and it’ll be a decent crowd, but don’t overthink it – just get out there, do the job, do the small things right, and if everyone’s on the same page it should all come together.”

Q: Does the thrill and anticipation of a big final waiver with the more you appear in?

A: “No, and there’s a lot riding on this year because we got to two finals last year and got beat in them both.

“That pain is still there from those games, so this is one we need to correct and add some silverware to this team and this club.”