‘Means a lot’: Anzac legend inspires Collins

Lindsay Collins credits the Sydney Roosters for helping him discover his family’s war heritage – now the prop plans to repay the club with a barnstorming performance in Sunday’s traditional Anzac Day clash against St George Illawarra.

Collins revealed he had little to no knowledge about his family’s association with war until he travelled overseas with the Roosters as part of a World Club Challenge trip back in 2019.

“We got to travel to the Somme Battlefields in Paris a few years ago – that was a big eye-opener there to learn the history about it,” Collins said.

“I had a couple of family members who served in World War I and World War II, but I only know that because when we went to Somme we had to do research if we had any family members and talk about it.

“I used to go to dawn services growing up but never really gave it much thought – just to pay your respects – but since I’ve been here at the Roosters, we’ve taken real ownership of it and gotten to know a bit more history around it.

“I think this week means a bit more than what it usually does. It’s always an awesome week, we get a really big crowd for it, and we’re really excited for it.

“I’m looking forward to butting heads with their (the Dragons) forward pack, and I’m looking forward to the contest.”

The Roosters will turn back the clock when they don the newest version of the Wartime jersey on Sunday., Picture: Sydney Roosters.Source:Supplied

The Roosters will turn back the clock when they don the newest version of the Wartime jersey, which Eastern Suburbs wore from 1944-1946, temporarily abandoning the traditional Tricolours for a lighter blue colour that is now known as Bondi Blue due to war rations.

Collins said coach Trent Robinson had long been a huge supporter of the Roosters’ retro war jersey.

“Robbo’s been pushing that for a couple of years now to get that coloured jersey and it’s awesome,” he said.

“It’s a contest we feel where we want to make people proud. The people that have served our country, we want to honour them in playing the best football possible, and you always see both sides ripping in.

“They couldn’t afford the colouring for the jersey, it’s our history, and to wear that on a weekend like this will be pretty cool.”

Winger Brett Morris is also a huge fan of the lighter blue ANZAC jersey.

“I remember when I was at the Dragons we played against the Roosters (who were wearing) a similar kit at the time. I thought it was pretty cool,” Morris said.

“I think the reason why they went with the lighter blue is that they ran out of the dark dye. It’s pretty cool that we can bring it back, there’s obviously that backstory around it and it gets people talking.

“The guys will be out there looking to do the jersey proud.”

The Roosters line up during the NRL Anzac Day match between the Sydney Roosters and St. George-Illawarra Dragons at the SCG. Picture. Phil HillyardSource:News Corp Australia

With just one position between the Roosters and Dragons on the NRL table and both sides entrenched in the top eight, Morris expects a tough contest against their longstanding rivals in the 20th edition of the Anzac Day Cup.

“You can throw the ladder out, to be honest,” he said.

“It’s never taken into account in these games. Both sides come into the encounter ready to go, and you always see a tough contest with both sides fired up.”

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