Where have all the good nicknames gone?

Rugby league has a long tradition of great, unique and downright funny nicknames.

From Martin ‘Chariots’ Offiah to Glenn ‘The Brick with Eyes’ Lazarus to Paul ‘Baloo’ Anderson, there’s been some memorable monikers over the years.

Both in England and Australia, the game has delighted in producing choice names. ‘Waltzing’ Matt Hilder, Mario ‘The Falcon’ Fenech, Mark ‘Piggy’ Riddell, John ‘Lurch’ O’Neill, Terry ‘Baa Baa’ Lamb, Anthony ‘The Count’ Minichiello, Mark ‘Tubby’ Aston, Menzie ‘The Jukebox’ Yere, the list goes on.

Some have a great story to go with them – like how Paul Harragon got the nickname ‘The Chief’ because he apprently looked tall, strong and silent at training like a certain American Indian character the day after One Flew Over the Cucuckoo’s Nest was on TV. Or how Adam MacDougall got nickname of ‘Mad Dog’ after talking to his thighs in the dressing room before a game.

The player nickname is part of rugby league folklore, part of the fabric of the sport. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we enjoy a joke, a bit of fun.

But in these modern times, have we lost our sense of humour? Where have all the great nicknames disappeared to?

Hardly any players in the current era have nicknames that are particularly interesting, original or humorous. Have a think about it – JT, GI, SBW, the Hayne Plane. No.

‘Slamming’ Sam Burgess – well, Kiwi Sam Stewart for the Newcastle Knights in the 1980s and early 90s wore that particular title better. ‘The Sparkly Eyed Man’ isn’t bad though.

Lockers, Faz, Jammer, Robes, JP, they’re hardly standout nicknames are they.

Manu ‘The Beast’ Vatuvei is good, and Junior ‘Hot Sauce’ Sa’u is original. But these days they are few and far between.

In these politically correct times do we take ourselves too seriously? Have we lost the art of the nickname?

Let us know your favourite rugby league nicknames and have a go at giving a player in the modern game one.

Personally we like Andre ‘The Giant’ Savelio, Albert ‘Ned’ Kelly’ and Travis ‘Mr’ Burns, but we’re sure you can do much better.

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