HE mightn’t be the most decorated Gus to land on Australian shores from the Netherlands, but reigning Central West Rugby Union best and fairest and Lions gun Gus Brotherton isn’t exactly your regular rugby import either.
Brotherton returned from Holland - the home of windmills, clogs and former Socceroos coach Guus Hiddink - earlier this month after a stint with Dutch rugby club Waterland, and after coming off the bench in the Lions’ 45-0 win in Mudgee last weekend has been elevated to the starting side for Saturday’s clash with Narromine.
Arguably the Blowes Clothing Cup’s premier openside flanker, Brotherton says a mid-table finish with Waterland didn’t deter from a “fantastic” eight-month rugby Euro trip.
“I met a lot of good blokes, got into the culture and made some good friends,” the 22-year-old said ahead of the Pride Park clash.
“The rugby skill level probably wasn’t as high as back here but the physicality was the same. But it was good to throw on the (Lions’) colours again (last week).”
A two-time premiership winner and a major cog in the Orange City club’s success in 2012 and 2013, Brotherton and fellow traveller Nick Quinn were obvious absentees when the Lions’ 39-game unbeaten run ended at the hands of competition leaders Dubbo ’Roos in round two.
Since then the Lions have returned to form with three consecutive wins and, with the top grade side now sitting in second, Brotherton praised the club’s depth.
“We never said we’re going to go undefeated again,” Brotherton offered.
“We’re just trying to regain the form we had in the past. It should come. We’ve got a few new guys in the team, it’s just a process.”
Modestly, he added his promotion back into the starting side wasn’t meant to be this quick.
“Obviously Billy Freeman has been playing pretty good rugby. He’ll be sure to keep me on my toes in colts. If I’m not up to my previous form I’m sure he’ll be right back up there. He’s a great kid with a good attitude,” he said.
The dynamic ball runner believes tomorrow’s clash with the Gorillas will be a good yard stick for the Lions.
“They’re always tough ... it’s always a challenge and you can gauge where your team is at when you verse Narromine,” he said.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 3.15pm.
ORANGE CITY LIONS: 1 Scott Smith, 2 Chris Senior, 3 Josh Tremain, 4 Mitch Pearce, 5 Chris Barrett, 6 Duncan Young, 7 Gus Brotherton, 8 Josh Maley, 9 Nick Quinn, 10 Mesui Lemoto, 11 Sam Powell, 12 Tatafu Na’aniumotu, 13 Jake Davis, 14 Cameron Cole, 15 Sam Dwyer.