Zac Crothers: The 17-year old who turned heads in his Premier Rugby debut

By Finn Morton; Photo – QRU Rugby

What were you doing at 17?

Whatever the answer to that question is, chances are you weren’t playing Premier Grade Rugby. Especially not in the front-row.

The same can’t be said for Easts Hooker Zac Crothers who made his debut off the bench against Sunnybank at Bottomley Park last Saturday.

The teenager was “pretty stoked” with the chance to ply his trade at a higher level but admits that he didn’t expect it to come so soon.

“I was pretty stoked with it,” he said.

“It was a really big opportunity. I thought I’d be another few years yet.”

Crothers wouldn’t be human if he wasn’t nervous before such an intimidating task but was thankful for how “supportive” his teammates were both pre-game and when he ran on for the first time.

He said the team welcomed him into Prem Grade by making sure that he got involved from the get-go, something that helped alleviate his nerves.

“I was really nervous before the game. But I had Carter [Ozanne] there who was calming me down a bit.

“[Carter] was giving me tips and what not while I was on the bench.

“Just telling me that it was a normal game and that even though It’d be a step up it was just footy.”

The ‘Churchie’ Old Boy expected a more physical and high-tempo game and that’s exactly what he got but enjoyed it nonetheless.

“It was a massive step up.

“It was a lot more physical, a lot faster and you really had to think on your feet a lot more.”

Easts won the Rick Tyrrell Cup after their victory over Sunnybank which means that Crowthers has won as many trophies as games played.

Despite this incomparable feat the youngster laughed off any retirement rumours as he intends to rather take his Rugby further.

The prop has ambition to play within the professional ranks, but at his age he is solely focused on playing “at Easts for as long as I [he] can.”