Ahead of what is the biggest regular-season match of the year, the Sydney Roosters are primed for the 20th annual Anzac Day Cup clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons.
In a match that pays homage to the sacrifice of the Anzacs, the Roosters and Dragons come together once more at the hallowed Sydney Cricket Ground, and both Brett Morris and Lindsay Collins say they are looking forward to both representing servicemen and women as well as the Club in what is always an entertaining and hard-fought clash on a humbling day for the nation.
“It’s a very special day,” Brett Morris said.
“Our job is to play Rugby League but Anzac Day is for us to represent the NRL in saying thank you to the armed forces for giving this country to live in.
Round 7 Media - Brett Morris
“These people have sacrificed a lot to do tours of duty and spend time away from family to protect us and to keep us safe.
“The Anzac Day Cup clashes are almost finals like in the intensity that they’re played at and the heart that’s being shown on the field. It’s our way of saying thank you and hopefully we can do them proud.
“I’ve got mates who are in the armed forces, so when this game comes along I’m always thinking about them and they’ve sacrificed a lot of time away from family and friends."
“It’s a pretty big day when you think about it," Lindsay Collins added.
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.Lindsay Collins On his Anzac Day experience
“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.
“We got to travel to the Somme Battlefields in Paris a few years ago during the World Club Challenge – that was a big eye-opener there to learn the history about 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 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.
“We live in this awesome country and you’re grateful every day for living here and it’s because of the people who served this country and protected us."
Round 7 Media - Lindsay Collins
The Club will wind back the clock as they don the newest version of the Wartime jersey, which was what Eastern Suburbs wore from 1944-1946, temporarily abandoning the traditional Tricolours, opting for a lighter blue colour which is now known as Bondi Blue due to war rations.
Collins and Morris both say that they're excited to put on the jersey and see the Club's history on show on Sunday.
“I remember when I was at the Dragons we played against the Roosters a similar kit at the time I thought it was pretty cool," Morris said.
The importance of ANZAC Day | Robinson
“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."
“Robbo’s been pushing that for a couple of years now to get that coloured jersey and it’s awesome," Collins revealed.
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.Brett Morris On playing the Anzac Day Cup
"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."
With just one position between the Roosters and Dragons on the NRL table and both sides entrenched in the top eight, the duo expects a tough contest against their long-standing rivals in the 20th edition of the Anzac Day Cup.
“We always get a really big crowd and it’s always a big game," said Collins of the annual Anzac Day Cup.
Round 7 Media - Drew Hutchison
"I’m looking forward to butting heads with their forward pack and I’m looking forward to the contest."
“You can throw the ladder out, to be honest," Morris declared.
"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.
“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."
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