Sio's a Super inspiration
Pat Sio, brother of ACT Brumby Scott Sio. Photo: Karleen Minney
They used to spend afternoons bashing into each other in the backyard and now Pat Sio wants to follow big brother Scott into Super Rugby.
But first the powerfully built back-rower is aiming to emulate Scott's junior achievements and win selection in the Australian under-20s side for the world championships in June.
While Scott was in Melbourne preparing to play for the ACT Brumbies against the Melbourne Rebels, Pat was finishing his first camp with the national squad.
The brothers - Pat is taller but Scott is heavier - spent their Christmas holidays ''trying to choke each other out'' in wrestling sessions in Sydney. The park down the street from their house was another venue for their wrestling sessions.
Now Brumbies prop Scott is the inspiration driving Pat's bid to make his first Australian team.
''It's always good to aim high … I look at [Scott's achievements] as a challenge,'' Pat said. ''I reckon I'm up to the challenge … we both have the same goal - play for the Wallabies.
''Scott has taught me a lot of the things he's learnt at the Brumbies. He thinks he's faster than me, but I've got him covered … we're always competitive.''
An Australian under-20s squad spent the past week training at the Australian Institute of Sport at the first camp with new coach Sean Hedger. The initial squad of 50 will be trimmed to a smaller group that will prepare for the junior world championships to be held in France later this year.
Sio failed to make the Australian schoolboys teams, but has his sights set on a Super Rugby deal and under-20s honours.
Canberra duo Tom Staniforth and Andrew Robinson are also pushing their names forward for selection.
Both played in the Australian Schoolboys team last year and Brumbies coach Jake White has invited them to train with the Super Rugby squad.
''I've just learnt to go harder and go faster by training with the Brumbies,'' towering second-rower Staniforth said. ''I'm still getting bumped and smashed [by the older guys], but I'm really lucky and that's the only way you learn.
''When I look into [my goals] too much, that's when I get worried and don't play well, so I'm just having fun now.''
Robinson had to sit out the majority of work at the camp after injuring a shoulder in the Brumbies Q Sevens tournament last weekend.
The Tuggeranong Vikings back hopes this will not affect his chances of winning a spot in the final 28-man squad.
''It's frustrating, but hopefully I get a chance to show them what I can do,'' he said. ''Getting picked for the under-20s is my major goal for this year and then hopefully have a successful season with the Vikings.''