Jenny and Tom Lonergan knew something had to give.
Try as they might, getting three rugby-mad kids to three separate grounds on a Saturday morning resembled something more like mission impossible.
"So the option was to bring 'Noss' up into my age group," ACT Brumbies scrumhalf Ryan Lonergan said.
So off Lachie Lonergan went to under sevens training with his brother, but you naturally wonder if the size difference with kids a year older than him was ever a concern.
"Noss was really fat back then, so it didn't matter," Ryan laughed. "Then it was just an excuse for him to stay fat."
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"But look at me now", Lachie quips with a smile at the end of a training session at a rain-soaked Brumbies headquarters.
Now he is set to start at hooker for the Brumbies in a Super Rugby AU grand final against the Queensland Reds at Brisbane's famed Lang Park on Saturday night.
The two brothers have risen through the ranks of the Tuggeranong Vikings together and graduated into the Brumbies' Super Rugby program. Both are widely regarded as stars of the future, with 21-year-old Lachie already featuring in a Wallabies camp this year.
It was a dream born on the family's Williamsdale property, where Ryan once stumbled across some old flooring and transformed it into makeshift football posts to set the scene for touch football battles between the brothers. Ryan was always Matt Giteau, Lachie was always Stirling Mortlock.
The hooker posing as the hardest running centre in world rugby? Hardly a surprise when you find out Lachie started as an outside centre in juniors.
"It's a pretty sad story to be honest," Lachie said.
"I was out in the backs and then I went to No. 6. I was there for like three or four years, then I finally went to hooker and the rest is history. It's only going to get worse, I'll probably be a prop soon."
But there he is not alone. Ryan started as a flyhalf, and as his brother puts it, "then he got shafted to nine".
"I hated it because I wanted to be a 10, and the coach swapped the nine and the 10 around," Ryan said.
"It wasn't all smooth sailing at the start. I was pretty off it at the start, because I was so competitive when I was younger."
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Yet success would follow for both, winning premierships and featuring in junior Australian teams. Now comes their biggest opportunity yet.
Playing alongside his brother isn't something Lachie ever takes for granted. So many grow up playing football in the backyard dream of doing something similar, but a select few make it a reality.
Ryan admits it is a feat he may need to sit back and reflect on, because after playing alongside his brother for the best part of 16 years "it almost becomes a bit normal for me".
But for mum and dad, who have followed their boys around the globe as they chase rugby dreams?
"It's really special for us to be playing together and representing the Brumbies," Ryan said.
I've got to reflect on it and realise it how special it actually is, because sometimes it almost becomes a bit normal for me. I think for our parents, its really special for us to be playing together and representing the Brumbies.Brumbies scrumhalf Ryan Lonergan
"Our old man has been watching the Brums ever since he was playing footy when he was young as well. I think they like it more than we do sometimes."
Of course, Jenny and Tom will be there on Saturday night, a speck of blue and gold in a sea of maroon with Queensland officials anticipating a crowd of well over 40,000.
The significance is not lost on Brumbies coach Dan McKellar. Few brothers have represented the club alongside each other - think Fainga'a's and two iterations of Smiths. Even fewer win competitions together.
"I'm sure Jenny and Tom are incredibly proud. I remember them being over there at Hamilton for Ryan's debut game, and then Noss debuted there as well when we beat them," McKellar said.
"They've invested a lot clearly in their boys. You can tell by the quality of their characters, that they come from a great family. They'll be really proud.
"Again, a couple of local boys who came through our system are now playing a Super Rugby grand final together, so it's a great story."
To an extent McKellar believes the amount of homegrown products suiting up for the Brumbies is undersold, and he is adamant there will be more to come out of the Canberra nursery.
"You've just got to look at the number of players running around out there on Saturday night in a grand final," McKellar said.
"The Lonergan boys, Luke Reimer has been in our academy and played a lot of footy for Wests, your Harry Lloyds, your Mack Hansens, your Tom Ross'.
"Players inspire that next generation. The success we've been able to have consistently over a period of time now means there is going to be more kids that want to wear a Brumbies jersey, both for the men's team and the women's team."
SUPER RUGBY AU FINAL
Saturday: Queensland Reds v ACT Brumbies at Lang Park, 7.45pm. Broadcast: Live on Stan Sport and Channel Nine. Tickets from Ticketek.
ACT Brumbies squad: 1. Scott Sio, 2. Lachlan Lonergan, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Nick Frost, 7. Rory Scott, 8. Rob Valetini, 9. Nic White, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Tom Wright, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Andy Muirhead, 15. Tom Banks. Replacements: 16. Folau Fainga'a, 17. Harry Lloyd, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Henry Stowers, 20. Luke Reimer, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Reesjan Pasitoa, 23. Mack Hansen.
Queensland Reds squad: 1. Feao Fotuaika, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Ryan Smith, 5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 6. Angus Scott-Young, 7. Fraser McReight, 8. Harry Wilson, 9. Tate McDermott, 10. James O'Connor (c), 11. Jock Campbell, 12. Hamish Stewart, 13. Josh Flook, 14. Jordan Petaia, 15. Bryce Hegarty. Replacements: 16. Alex Mafi, 17. Dane Zander, 18. Zane Nonggorr, 19. Seru Uru, 20. Liam Wright, 21. Kalani Thomas, 22. Isaac Henry, 23. Filipo Daugunu.
*The Brumbies are offering a package for fans including a charter flight to and from Brisbane, a ticket to the final, and one night's accommodation. Secure your seat here.
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