Many of these rugby player’s nicknames have arisen over the years watching rugby, and the rest seem to be common knowledge, so just in case you wonder who the hell we’re on about, here is a rundown. Some of these are “in-house” nicknames we have come up with – those that are fit to print – but feel free to adopt them! If you get confused, think how they must feel in Wales where everyone is “Jonesy”.
Contributions welcome. Some of the newer ones have also been found in the Scottish Rugby Miscellany, available from fine booksellers everywhere.
Big Nathan – Nathan Hines. The time honoured Scottish tradition of calling tall people Big Man may have something to do with this. As in “Go on big Nathan, have a wee run”. See also, Big Jim (Hamilton), Big Jason (White) and Big Rory (Lamont, who is bigger than Wee Rory Lawson). We hear he may also be called Wagga, after the place of his birth (thanks Bob and Stew).
Blade – Mike Blair. There is a reason fighter pilots don’t get to choose their own call-signs but hopefully someone else gave him this one. Perhaps it is related to his love of table tennis, wielding his ping pong bat like a scalpel? Doubtful.
Budgie – Colin Gregor. Small and chirpy, I imagine.
Chunk – Allan Jacobsen. Not hard to guess the origin of this one. Comes from a long line of classic prop nicknames such as “Mighty Mouse” or “Teapot”.
Euge – Euan Murray. Presumably because he is ‘uge. Also known as Rev.
Girth – Geoff Cross. Not sure on the origin or accuracy of this one.
Goggsy – Gordon Ross
Johnny Shu – John Houston
Malkovich – Simon Webster. I will try and find a picture that proves the resemblance between him and John Malkovich.
Monty – Sean Lamont, although this could be quantified by calling Rory Lamont “Monty Lamont” or “Monty II” or something.
Mossy – Chris Paterson seems to get called this regularly. Anyone know the origin of this? (see Bill’s and Stew’s comments below for more)
Parko – Dan Parks. Seemed suitably more Australian than “Parksy” or “fanny baws”.
Posh – Hugo Southwell. I suspect this may be due to the tragic shortage of Hugos in everyday Scottish life. To me, he’ll always be HUUUUUUGOOOOOOOOO. Yes, if you hear that coming from the stands, and think to yourself “which tit shouted that?”, it’s probably me.
Stroker – Alisdair Strokosch, also known as The Big Stroker
World Class Phil – Phil Godman. Based on Frank Hadden’s assertion that Godman was a world class attacking runner. I think it may have been just before the “6 minutes of hell” Italy game. Yes, that one.
Overseas Players & Past Players
Mostly I just call them by an incorrect but similar (or middle) name, eg Barry O’ Driscoll or Gary Habana. Who knows what madness lies in the hearts of men but the fact I am known by my middle rather than first name due to no fault of my own may have something to do with it. Others of note that have come to my attention:
Bernie – Stephen Larkham. Named after the corpse in Weekend at Bernies due to a laid back attidude.
Basil – Brian Redpath. Currently a coach at Gloucester, I wonder if this is still in use!
Bueller – Ferris, Stephen. See what they did there?
Chops – Matt Mustchin. Either a love of sideburns or pork, one would imagine.
Del Boy – Damian Cronin.
Muffles – Andy Henderson. Apparently this is Graeme Morrison’s pet name for him.
Nobody – John Eales. A classic, why? Because nobody’s perfect.
Nugget – Martin Williams
Ronnie – Mark Regan. This is almost clever, loving a good pun as I do.
Sinbad – James Simpson-Daniel
Tony Blair – David Blair. Clever one, eh?
Too Tall – Richard Metcalfe, apparently. Hope this clears things up (see comments)
Also worth having a look at: Western Force Supporters site, which has quite a few antipodean rugby nicknames. Quite a few funny ones on here, including Sam “Two-Dads” Norton-Knight and Anton “Grenade Face” Oliver!
Honourable mention also goes to Scubbsy, a New Zealand fan who we sat beside during the World Cup match at Murrayfield who was dressed in a wetsuit – leaving little to the imagination – and a bum bag. After a few minutes snoozing, his similarly attired comrade’s chants of “Man up Scubbsy” became our own catchphrase for the ensuing World Cup tour. Scubbsy, we salute you.