Beau repairs - a weekly ritual for Redmen player
FOR Beau Brotherson, just getting out of bed on Sunday morning requires a fair bit of manoeuvring.
In fact, it's become an art form.
Left foot first followed by a twist of the lower back, a 'hello boys' and a dismount to make former Romanian Olympian Nadia Comaneci proud.
At 33, Brotherson admits he hasn't got too many games left in him. Years propping up a scrum has taken its toll, not to mention the post-game celebrations.
"It's not getting any easier as you get older. I wake up every Sunday morning during the season with a sore neck and back," Brotherson explained. "Also it's usually accompanied with a self-induced headache."
Brotherson is one of those players who gives his all week in week out. We've come to expect nothing less from the Grafton tight-head prop straining and striving every sinew to get his beloved Redmen across the line.
But after 11 years in the engine room taking on opposition props twice his size, Brotherson's body is literally held together with enough tape to go around a rugby field, twice.
"One thing I've learnt is you've got to do extra work when you get older," he said. "Some of the guys reckon I'm sponsored by Elastoplast. I do a fair bit of strapping these days. Both ankles, my hand and shoulders. All due to incurring injuries and old age."
Ask his teammates and they'll tell you Brotherson doesn't mind a chat on the field. But it's after the game when his charismatic nature, or wild child, takes over.
"I love playing for the Redmen and love the bus trips," he said.
"I try to incorporate a bit of club spirit with a few songs. I've even written a couple featuring our fearless captain Sean "The Moose" Austin."
Today Brotherson will once again put his body to the test when Grafton host fourth-placed Lennox Head. A win over the Trojans could see Grafton slip into the top four.
"Lennox is always tough to beat," he said. "But if we start like we did last week against Lismore and don't give away as many penalties I think we're in with a big chance."
FIRST GRADE: 1 Sean Austin (c), 2 John King, 3 Beau Brotherson, 4 Nick Collie, 5 Nash Callaghan/Declan Collie, 6 Scott Lloyd, 7 Paul Cameron, 8 Beau Deleuien, 9 Nathan McPherson, 10 Andrew Pye, 11 Jamie Cotten, 12 Keaton Ingram, 13 Jacob Lynch, 14 Zac Cotten, 15 Kyle Hancock. Coach: Ray Collie.