England and London Irish rugby flanker Steffon Armitage

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?

SA: Will Ferrell. He’s awesome – I love Anchorman. I think we’re the same person, except I’m black and he’s white. I see myself as a funny person!

Funny man Will Ferrell

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?

SA: Cuba Gooding Jr. I loved him in Boat Trip – he pretends to be a drag queen to get a girl into bed.

RW: Who’s your ideal woman?

SA: My missus. Other than that, Jessica Alba.

RW: How do you want to be remembered?

SA: Unstoppable.

Check out his profle for England

Learn more about Steffon and Delon when they were kids…

Learn more about Steffon’s teammates at London Irish…

Sailosi Tagicakibau

Topsy Ojo