Trio take to the field
THEY may not possess the silky skills of the Ella brothers but Huan, Declan and Nick Collie have something in common with the famous Randwick and Wallabies trio, Mark, Glen and Gary.
Like Mark and Glen Ella, Huan and Declan are identical twins while Nick is the older sibling.
All three brothers will run out for the Redmen first grade side against Ballina today after working their way through the junior ranks.
“We've always played together,” Huan says. “We played under-19s, under-17s and all our junior rugby together.
“But this year is the first time we've played first grade together.”
For the Collie boys getting involved in the 15-a-side game was only a matter of time, given the fact their father Ray has been involved with the club as a player and administrator for over three decades.
“Dad really didn't push us into playing rugby…I suppose we just always wanted to play the game,” Huan admits.
“We played one year of league but didn't like it as much so we stuck to union,” Declan adds.
Both players admit stepping up to the top grade has been enjoyable but also more demanding.
“It's definitely a lot tougher playing first grade than under-19s,” Huan says.
“But the three of us are all enjoying the challenge.”
Huan revealed playing alongside his two brothers and his father back in 2009 was a day he'll never forget.
“It was pretty special. All four of us played together in a third grade game about two years ago,” he says.
When asked if their father has any advice to pass on, Declan says his dad more often than not has a quiet word after each game.
“Yeah, after the game he has a bit to say. He tells us where we went wrong and how to improve our game,” Declan says.
Their father Ray still has a run in the lower grades but according to Declan his body is showing signs of plenty of wear and tear.
“I'm not sure exactly how many games dad has played for the Redmen but it must be close to 400,” Declan says.
“He probably should have retired about four years ago…he's a bit sore after games these days.”
Against Ballina today Huan has the responsibility of calling the shots at five-eighth while Declan (breakaway) and Nick (second-row) will face an experienced Ballina forward pack.
“We were a bit unlucky last time we played them but in my opinion they're certainly beatable,” Huan says.
“We just have to play to our potential and hopefully we'll be at full strength.”
One thing for sure is the Collie boys will edge one game closer to that coveted milestone of 100 games. Something their father Ray knows all to well.
Games kick-off at 12.30pm starting with under-19s with the main game scheduled for 4pm.