20 of the best nicknames in Rugby: Briefcase, Rikishi and the Sheriff

Most of the time, nicknames in sport are pretty unimaginative and formulaic— Wilko, Johnno and Fazz didn’t take an awful lot of thought. For this reason, we must celebrate the instances when nicknames are creative, funny or downright bizarre. 

Here are some of our absolute favourites:

1. LIAM WILLIAMS (SANJAY)

It was while he was on holiday in Greece as a small boy that another British family reckoned the Saracens-bound star looked like Sanjay Kapoor, the former market trader from Eastenders! The name stuck.

2. TADHG FURLONG (RIKISHI)

The Irish tighhead says of his nickname: “My belly gets a good flash on national television.

“It came up in the video review, Joe Schmidt said “Oh, here comes WWF…”, not even WWE so, WWF, we’re going back a few years. And of course the lads jumped on the bandwagon and started calling me Rikishi, the big fat wrestler!”

3. ELLIOT DALY (BRIEFCASE)

The England star got his nickname after turned up at his first Wasps training session in his Whitgift school uniform and carrying you know what!

4. MARO ITOJE (PEARL)

Called ‘The Pearl’ by Saracens and England team-mates for a perceived preciousness to the sides he plays in.

Maro Itoje of Saracens celebrates the win during the Aviva Premiership Final between Exeter Chiefs and Saracens at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on May 26. – PHOTO: Cameron Geran/PPAUK/Aviva

5. KEN OWENS (SHERIFF)

In a nod to his grandfather having been mayor of Carmarthen and council chairman, Scarlets hooker Ken Owens is The Sheriff. Also known as Cannonball Ken for his ball carrying.

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