Premier Rugby: 18-Year-Old Crothers Ready For Tigers if Called Upon
By Finn Morton; Photo – QRU/Brendan Hertel
Zac Crothers made history in 2019, making his Premier Grade debut against Sunnybank in the front-row at just 17-years-old.
After only playing one game, he’d won one trophy with the Tigers claiming the Rick Tyrrell Cup at Bottomley Park on that Saturday afternoon.
Crothers was later recognised for his achievements and form, being named in the Brisbane City squad to compete, and eventually win, the Under 19s Rugby Championship (URC) in Canberra.
He spent most of his first season out of school playing colts rugby, which was to be expected of someone his age. But his involvement with the Premier Grade setup has given the Churchie Old Boy a renewed sense of confidence heading into 2020.
Now three and a half months into his preseason, the Easts Hooker is firmly focused on what he can do to become a better player heading into a new club season.
“I noticed last year I needed more weight to be effective in contact so that has been my main focus coming into the season,” Crothers admitted.
“I actually got back into strength and conditioning training in mid October to add a bit more size coming into the 2020 season.
“I’ve done a lot of work with Kirwan Sanday and Rhys Van Nek on my scrummaging technique. I’ve learnt quite a bit from them.”
The now 18-year-old is feeling much more prepared heading into another season at Tigerland, but isn’t expecting to become a first-team regular just yet.
“It helps having been around the team last year and getting a bit of playing time. Having spent all preseason with Prems I feel confident I can play my part if I get the opportunity.
“I expect to start the season in colts one but making the starting team is certainly a goal I set myself this year.
“I know there are some good footballers in front of me so I will just take what opportunities I can get.”
Crothers took a significant step in Rugby Australia’s pathway program at the end of 2019, winning the URC with Brisbane City after defeating Sydney 43-19 in the Final.
While his side went undefeated throughout the tournament, he is using his involvement as motivation heading into a new club campaign.
“It was great to be part of the City team and to win the competition, but personally I was disappointed by the lack of game time I got in Canberra. I’ve just used that to motivate me for this season.
“I just want to stay injury free, focus on playing good footy and become a regular in the Premier 15.
“At the end of the season, another crack at the URC will be a goal, but there is a lot of rugby before then.”