Origin 2020: Giant Maroons rookie’s surprise
NRL watchers know Queensland State of Origin squad rookie Lindsay Collins is a man mountain who tussles with the biggest and best grizzly front row opponents in the code.
But few, if any, would know the 110kg, 191cm prop is a speed demon?
Roosters flyers like Brett Morris, Daniel Tupou, James Tedesco and Joseph Manu sure do.
Every pre-season when the Roosters are under starters orders for sprint training, Collins puts the wind right up them with his huge strides.
"When he does pre-season at the Roosters, he can match it with the backs. He is up there,'' said mum Kerrie.
Indeed there is very little difference, if any, between the pace of big Lindsay and his younger brother Samuel who earlier this year made his Queensland Cup debut as a centre for the Easts Tigers.
But should we really be surprised that Lindsay has pace? After all Lindsay's grandfather is former Australian winger Lionel Williamson, a proud Cairns native who also played for famous Sydney club Newtown in what was then the NSWRL.
Williamson may be 2400km away from his grandson, but every Monday Lindsay gets a call from grandad to have a chat about his game.
Williamson is not playing favourites as Samuel and the Collins' boys sister Hunter are also in frequent phone contact with their grandfather, but Williamson's call to Lindsay is obviously most poignant given his background in league and Lindsay's success since leaving the Broncos under 20s to link with the Roosters.
But despite having obvious roots in rugby league, Lindsay or Samuel were never pressured into playing the code.
Indeed they only started with their junior club, Brothers, when the under 7s team was short one season.
"The team was short and we were asked if we could bring boys to play and that is how their stint with Brothers started,'' said Kerrie.
"Lindsay has some lifelong friends from the Brothers under 7s.
"To this day they catch up.
"We never pushed them to do it (play league). They just loved it, loved being with his mates
"We always said (to Lindsay) if it stopped being fun, you can stop, but you always knew he wanted to give it his all.''
Kerrie said both boys were told early on how a low percentage of juniors make it in the NRL and if they wanted to pursue league, they also needed to pursue a career.
"We always said they needed a backup because it (playing league) could end in a tackle
"They both worked hard while maintaining a balance to have something else in their life in case it did not work out.''
As a result Lindsay, whose cousin Luke was a NRL premiership winner with Manly, is a qualified carpenter and next year hopes to start a University degree while Samuel is a cadet project manager who is doing a construction and urban design course at QUT.
But for Padua College old boy Lindsay, his decision to back himself in rugby league has paid dividends with his selection in the Origin squad.
"We are so proud,'' Kerrie said.
"He has kept this goal, this desire to make the (Origin) squad very close to his chest because he did not want it to get in the way of his club football.
"We probably did not think it would happen as fast as it did, but this is something he's worked extremely hard for which makes his selection even more bitter sweet.
"We are immensely proud. He gets the experience of being coached by Wayne Bennett and Mal Meninga and work alongside other great props and hookers. Regardless of whether he plays or not, it is a huge learning experience.''
Originally published as Origin 2020: Giant Maroons rookie's surprise