AN Aussie Rules boy propping up the Orange Emus scrum in 2012.
It seems an unlikely scenario when you look at the calibre of props that have played with the club over the last few season.
John Ellis was a Blue Bull.
Al Hattersley was the Central West Rugby Union Player of the Year just last season.
But they’re now gone.
And Emus have called on a bloke more akin to booting the Sherrin than sticking his head in a ruck or maul to start the 2012 Blowes Clothing Cup up front.
Brandon Akerstrom, 28, only started playing rugby union in 2007 with Mount Isa.
Moving to Orange to work at the mines, Akerstrom has linked with Emus for the 2012 season and played a big part in taking the Greens pack forward last weekend, giving the backs room to move on their way to a round one 25-6 win over the Bathurst Bulldogs.
“It’s good to get out there and get a bit physical in the first game,” Akerstrom said.
“It was certainly pretty tough for the first game. I think we did well to get ahead nice and early and that made the rest of the game a bit easier.”
And if Emus coach Paul Ringland is right, Akerstrom will have another physical test tomorrow.
The Greens host CSU Bathurst at Endeavour Oval.
“Their pack has been underrated the last couple of years. Pretty much every time we’ve played them the pack has outplayed us. They like to aim up,” Ringland said.
But Emus’ new Western Australian-born prop isn’t too concerned.
“As usual, with every game I’ll play, I won’t know what to expect (from the opposition),” Akerstrom said.
“Hopefully we can just improve on the things we didn’t do as well last week and we should have a win.”
Partnering Tom Goolagong and Jim Roberts in the frontrow, Akerstrom said he’d love to play as many games as he can in the top grade this season.
He said the standard of rugby in the Central West was exceptional.
“It’s really good actually. I played a bit of lower grades in Brisbane so certainly this is a few levels up from that,” he said.
Although Emus started the season on fire with their 19-point win over Bathurst, Ringland said there was plenty the Greens need to improve on to beat CSU.
“There were patches of the game we still weren’t happy with despite (last weekend’s) result. Hopefully this weekend the boys can put in a 80-minute performance,” Ringland said.
Tomorrow’s game will be marked as a memorial for the late Tim Cutcliffe, a Vietnam veteran who played with Orange Emus in the 60s.
It’s also Ladies Day at Endeavour Oval.
First grade kicks off at 3.15pm.
ORANGE EMUS: 1 Brandon Akerstrom, 2 Tom Gollagong, 3 Jim Roberts, 4 Ben Parkes, 5 Scott McLean, 6 Michael McGee, 7 Nick Mullins, 8 Keith Howarth, 9 TJ Cunynghame, 10 Nigel Staniforth, 11 Derek Thompson, 12 Andrew Swain (c), 13 Isaac White, 14 Toby Wright, 15 Graydon Staniforth.
CSU BATHURST: 1 Adrian Cunningham, 2 Luke Kelly, 3 Ryan Bear, 4 Ed Craig, 5 Taf Leckie, 6 Chris McKern, 7 Jake Wilson, 8 Hugh Medway, 9 Mike Pembroke, 10 Tom Keft, 11 Nate Morris, 12 Luke Griffith, 13 Lachlan Blunt, 14 Sam Ryan, 15 Jack Gerrard.