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Why West Coast’s Willie Rioli will sport a different name for AFLX

He’s got one of the most famous surnames in footy.

But Willie Rioli will add a special extra part to it when it appears on the back of his uniform for AFLX on Friday.

The West Coast favourite will wear the No.44 jumper for Eddie Betts’ team Deadly in the tournament, with ‘Vigona-Rioli’ to appear above the number.

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That’s a nod to his heritage and his mother Georgina Vigona, who also comes from a famous footballing family that includes South Fremantle champion Benny Vigona.

Rioli’s name call comes as part of an AFLX initiative for players to choose what monikers appear on their strips.

Most have stuck with their standard surnames, but others have gone for nicknames.

Mark Blicavs has opted for ‘Brown Fang’, Steele Sidebottom ‘Rusty’, Bradley Hill ‘Hilly’, Nat Fyfe ‘Fyfey’, Scott Pendlebury ‘Dippa’ and Jack Riewoldt ‘Puppy’.

Willie Rioli is set to light up AFLX.Willie Rioli is set to light up AFLX.
Camera IconWillie Rioli is set to light up AFLX.Picture: Sharon Smith

AFLX will also follow the Big Bash League’s lead in abolishing the coin toss in favour of a different gimmick.

Rather than the BBL’s bat flip, AFLX will see opposing skippers square off in a clash of paper-scissors-rock to determine who kicks in which direction.

The tournament today suffered more big-name withdrawals, with Jeremy Cameron and Tom McDonald both pulling out with quad tightness and knee soreness respectively.

Callan Ward (Flyers) and Bayley Fritsch (Rampage) have been named as their replacements.

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