Trbojevic’s join Blues’ brotherhood
THEY are the latest inductees into one of the most elite groups in rugby league.
The Blues' brotherhood.
On Wednesday night, Manly teammates Jake and Tom Trbojevic will become the eighth pair of siblings to wear the sky blue New South Wales jumper in State of Origin's 38-year history.
And it dates back to the beginning of State of Origin.
St George forward Graeme Wynn played in the first Origin clash, soon to be followed into the record books by his brother Peter, who was part of a similar player revolution that Brad Fittler has orchestrated with the Blues this year.
Steve Mortimer captained the Blues to their first series win in 1985, alongside his brother Chris.
"It was very special," Peter Wynn said. "I know Graeme is very proud of the fact he represented NSW in the very first game.
"It is certainly nice to look back on it. We are very proud. For me, to be part of that first winning series in 1985, it was something special as well.
"We both represented the old NSW as well before State of Origin."
Since then Mark and Matt Geyer, Andrew and Matthew Johns, Glenn and Brett Stewart, Matt and Kurt Gidley and most recently Brett and Josh Morris, have added their names to Blues folklore.
And against Queensland in Melbourne on Wednesday night, Jake and Tom Trbojevic will continue the tradition.
They will join the Mortimers, Johns', Stewarts and Morris brothers to actually play alongside each other.
While Mark and Matt Geyer played club footy together at the old Western Reds, eight years separated their Origin careers.
"You can only image how proud our parents were when one son played Origin," Mark Geyer said.
"But when both brothers were lucky enough to do it - it's everlasting.
"This is only the eighth time it's been done in 38 years - that's something to be proud of."
Like so many other families in the 1980s, growing up in the Geyer house, dad Kevin and mum Maxine pushed back Mark's bedtime so he could get his first taste of Origin.
"My Origin career was short and sweet and straight to the point. Origin is the best," Geyer said "I remember as a 12-year-old, my old man told me I could stay up late and watch this new concept called State of Origin.
"As for Matt, I was so proud. It was hard to believe that it was my little brother that was running out in a Blues jersey. He fought and scrapped for everything he got in the game."
Andrew and Matty Johns became NSW champions, with Andrew later named an Immortal.
Tongue-firmly-in-cheek, Matty said: "It was pretty tough for Joey, he was always in my shadow.
"It was hard for him to play alongside me with all the expectations. I can only imagine how difficult it was for him to be constantly known as Matthew Johns' brother. It took a lot of encouraging."
Tom Trbojevic spoke of his pride yesterday of him and brother Jake being mentioned alongside "some great players in Origin history."
"We haven't done what those players have done but we are just so happy to be here," said Tom, 20, who will debut on Wednesday a year after Jake.
"There's the Johns brothers. Joey is in here (in NSW camp) helping us. I got to play with Brett and I know 'Gifty' (Glenn Stewart) as well.
"These are players that have done everything in the game. Won premierships, won State of Origin series and played for their country.
"We can't be compared to them - we are just very thankful to the coaching staff for giving us this opportunity to play put this jersey on.
"It is a great honour to be representing this jumper together. It's been awesome in camp, all the fellas have been great.
"We spend a fair bit of our time together. As a family, we are very tight-knit - all our brothers are very tight. That helps. Jake is a good fella."
Jake Trbojevic cannot wait to run onto the MCG with Tom by his side.
"It's really exciting for our family. Origin is a big moment," Jake said. "Tom has worked really hard and played some really good footy.
"I have told Tom that Origin is a tough game and it's very fast - he knows what to expect. He'll handle it, he'll be fine. He knows what to expect.
"To get to play Origin is not only rewarding for us also rewarding for our parents (John and Melissa)."
Matthew Johns had the final word when asked about Tom and Jake.
"They are just champion blokes. It's the old story mate - good family, good kids."
Brothers to play Origin for NSW
- Graeme Wynn (1980) and Peter Wynn (1984-1985)
- Steve Mortimer (1982-1985) and Chris Mortimer (1984-1989)*
- Mark Geyer (1989-1991) and Matt Geyer (1999)
- Andrew Johns (1995-2005) and Matthew Johns (1995-1998)*
- Matt Gidley (2000-2004) and Kurt Gidley (2007-2011)
- Brett Stewart (2007-2012) and Glenn Stewart (2009-2012)*
- Josh Morris (2009-2016) and Brett Morris (2010-2017)*
- Jake Trbojevic (2017-) and Tom Trbojevic (2018-)*