Rugby World caught up with ‘BA Barracus’ to chat about achievements outside rugby, practical jokes and finding it hard to live without his bed.
RUGBY WORLD: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen or heard on the pitch?
STEFFON ARMITAGE: “If you score more points than them, you’ll win.” Wow, I thought that was the point of the game! That came from a coach – I won’t name names as I might get dropped.
RW: Do you have any phobias?
SA: Spiders – I can’t stand even small ones. My girlfriend, Katie, has to get rid of them because I don’t want to go near them.
RW: And bugbears?
SA: I’m a bit of a clean freak. My little brother, Guy, stayed with me over the summer as he was training with us and he always left mess all over the kitchen.
RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?
SA: I want to get my golf handicap down to zero. I played a lot when I was in France and had a handicap of 11, but now it’s probably about 15! I’ve embarrassed myself with the guys by saying I’m alright and then playing badly. I also want to be a pilot. I’ve done a couple of hours flying already and eventually I’d like to do it commercially.
RW: Who are the jokers at London Irish?
SA: Ryan Lamb, Elvis (Seveali’i) and Maps (Seilala Mapusua). They spread rumours about new players coming in – with me it’s sixes and sevens like Jerry Collins and Tonga’s Nili Latu. Or they hide bibs in people’s bags when we’re not supposed to take them home – all sorts.
RW: What about practical jokes?
SA: Pictures are put up from the newspapers if we think they look like a player and can’t be taken down for 48 hours. For me, it’s pictures of BA Baracus (from The A-Team). For my brother Delon, it’s any skinny Ethopian or Kenyan runner. We also covered Topsy Ojo’s car in eggs once – he’s got one of those faces that you just want to do something to!
RW: Any nicknames?
SA: BA and Tucky. Delon made that up and now everyone calls me it – I don’t know where he got it from.
Favourite jokes, Tardiness and Stupid purchases…
RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
SA: Invisibility – because then I could go and spy on everything.
RW: What’s your favourite joke?
SA: What do you call a lady with one leg shorter than the other? Eileen. I’ve got another one. What do you call a guy with no shins? Tony.
RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?
RW: What couldn’t you live without?
SA: My bed. I love my bed. Katie leaves before me every morning and I always struggle to get out of bed. When I lived with Richard Thorpe we nearly missed the bus for two away trips – I don’t even remember the alarm going off! I live two minutes away now so luckily I can open my eyes, open the door and I’m at training.
RW: If your house was on fire, what three things would you save?
SA: I’d like to say my bed, but it would break my back. My PlayStation 3 – I’d unplug it quickly. And my mobile phone and my house keys so I can get back in – if the door hasn’t burnt down.
RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?
SA: I’ve bought quite a lot of stupid stuff, things I can’t even find now. I bought a torch that made a tiger noise – I’ve no idea why. I used it once, then gave it to my nephew, Cameron. He loves it.
RW: If a film was made of your life, who would you want to play you?
RW: Who’s your ideal woman?
SA: My missus. Other than that, Jessica Alba.
RW: How do you want to be remembered?
Learn more about Steffon and Delon when they were kids…
Learn more about Steffon’s teammates at London Irish…