Ben Trbojevic will stand united with his Blues brothers for the under-16s on Wednesday night, before cheering on his actual brother from the stands as both NSW sides aim to take down Queensland behind enemy lines.
It’s a family affair for the Trbojevic clan, with Ben starting in the second row for the under-16s, Jake is playing his third Origin match in the crucial decider, while Tom is a part of the Blues’ extended squad.
Members of the Trbojevic family will make the trip up from Sydney to watch the brothers play their respective games, while Ben is chomping at the bit for the double header on Wednesday evening.
“It’s very cool, hopefully we both win and beat the Queenslanders,” Ben Trbojevic says to NSWRL.com.au.
“I’ve been texting [Jake] throughout the week just to see how he is going, and he’s very excited, but he’s also pumped for our game so hopefully we can win.”
“My whole family is going up including my Nan, and a few of my mum’s friends, so it’s going to be exciting.”
The under-16s only just touched down in Brisbane this afternoon, with the plane carrying 972 first grade games worth of experience to help guide the team to a hopeful victory.
Brad Fittler is the coach, but among the coaching staff are Danny Buderus, Paul Sironen and Jamie Feeney, who have been developing these players through the NSWRL’s Pathways Program since the end of last year.
Trbojevic and his teammates are certainly learning from the best, and he constantly has his ear to the ground in order to become the best player he can possibly be.
“We’ve been learning a lot from some very experienced coaches which has been fun and interesting,” Trbojevic says.
“It’s mainly simple things like passing and learning how to do the little things better.
“It’s very cool, I watched them when I was young and they were so good and now they’re here coaching us and helping us get better, it’s really good and has been a great experience.”
Five players will represent the NSW team from the Manly Sea Eagles, a record number for the club.
It was a great season in the Harold Matthews Cup for the Sea Eagles, who made the Grand Final but went down to the Newcastle Knights in extra time.
Jake Trbojevic was a frequent attendee of brother Ben’s games, not just for Manly, but for the Mona Vale Raiders.
“It was a good year, we got to the grand final, it was a shame we didn’t win it,” Ben says.
“It’s good to get [Jake] down to our club games and help with my local club, the Mona Vale Raiders.
“He always tells me how to improve after games.”
You can watch the NSW under-16s team play Queensland live on NSWRL.com.au, set to kick off at 5.15pm.