Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:00 AM 21st October 2023

You've Been Pronouncing These England Rugby Players' Names Wrong

Image by Michael Christen from Pixabay
Image by Michael Christen from Pixabay
England Rugby has a rich and storied history, with a long line of legendary players who have donned the iconic white jersey. While fans worldwide passionately support their favourite players and teams, one aspect often overlooked is the correct pronunciation of players' names.

That’s why the language experts at Preply, have explored some of the most frequently mispronounced England Rugby player names from past and present to help you get it right.

Maro Itoje

Maro Itoje, is the dynamic lock forward for Premiership Rugby club Saracens and the England national team. He has made a significant impact on England Rugby with his exceptional athleticism and skills. However, his surname is often mispronounced as "Eye-toe-jay" when the correct pronunciation is "Ee-tow-jay." Remember that the 'I' is pronounced as 'Ee,' and the 'o' is closer to 'ow' than 'oh.'

Elliot Daly

Elliot Daly, a versatile back who has made his mark for the England rugby team, often faces mispronunciations of his name. People might say "Elliot DAH-lee" or "El-ee-ot DAL-ee," but the correct pronunciation is "El-ee-ut DAY-lee." Pay attention to the soft "t" sound in "Elliot" and emphasise the "DAY" part of his last name.

Mako Vunipola

The Vunipola brothers, Mako and Billy, have been vital assets for the England Rugby team. However, Mako has had to miss out on the Rugby World Cup in France after failing to beat his back injury. Mako's first name is relatively straightforward, but the last name often gets muddled. It's pronounced "Voo-nee-poh-lah," not "Voo-nee-poh-luh." Emphasise the 'la' sound at the end of his surname.

Manu Tuilagi

Manu Tuilagi's powerful runs and bone-crushing tackles have made him a household name in rugby. He plays as a centre for Premiership Rugby club Sale Sharks. Despite being born in Samoa, he represents England at international level after qualifying on residency grounds. However, his last name is commonly mispronounced as "Twee-lah-gee." The correct pronunciation is "Too-ee-lah-gee," with the 'ui' sounding like 'oo-ee,' and the 'a' is emphasised.

Ellis Genge

Ellis Genge is a dynamic prop forward for England Rugby, he also plays for Premiership Rugby club Bristol Bears. His last name often gets mispronounced as "Ginj" or "Gehnj." The correct pronunciation is "Genge," rhyming with "henge." The 'g' is soft, like 'j,' and the 'e' at the end is pronounced.

Ugo Monye

A former rugby union player, Ugo Monye played 14 times for England, 241 times for Premiership Rugby team Harlequins and twice for the British & Irish Lions on their 2009 tour to South Africa. He now spends his time working as a pundit for the sport.

However, his last name is frequently mispronounced as "Mohn." The accurate pronunciation is "Muhn-yeah," with the 'ye' sounding like 'yeah.'

Joe Cokanasiga

Joe Cokanasiga is a Fijian-born England wing known for his size and speed. He also plays wing for Premiership rugby team Bath, having previously represented London Irish. His last name is often pronounced as "Co-ka-nuh-see-guh." The correct pronunciation is "Co-ka-na-singa." The 'g' is pronounced like 'ng,' and the emphasis is on the 'si' part.