Halfback Mosiah Christian knows that transferring from University of Queensland to Brothers is one club transfer that is almost taboo in Brisbane.
He did it anyway this season because the lure of greater opportunities and playing with his younger brother Jaiden was too strong to resist.
Christian, 22, will get to relive the switch all over again on Saturday in the high-stakes Brothers v University clash at Crosby Park in Round 14 of the StoreLocal Hospital Cup.
Second-placed Brothers have a little buffer of comfort but fourth-placed UQ can’t afford a stumble with Easts and Bond University in hot pursuit.
“It was a bit of a strange one playing against old teammates early in the season, especially when Brothers and Uni have such a big rivalry,” Christian said.
“It did feel a bit criminal making the move but Brothers have welcomed me in from day one.
“Most of all, I wanted to take on the bigger role as the go-to No.9 which was the opportunity at Brothers. Following my brother to play with him was important in the decision too.”
It’s a win for their Kiwi-born parents Wallace and Esther.
“It definitely makes it easier for mum and dad to go to one ground to watch Rugby rather than have to choose,” Christian said with a laugh.
“My younger brother is the favourite so they’d only be down watching me last year when Jaiden and Brothers had a bye.”
All the explaining in the world doesn’t mean a thing out on the field where friends-turned-rivals is one of the oldest sources of footy banter.
Christian was no exception when Brothers were en route to a strong 21-14 win over Uni in the wet at St Lucia in Round Four.
There was an extra bump or two from Uni flanker Conor Mitchell and some niggle from fullback Mac Grealy.
“I expected it. It was all part of the game. Conor would give me a shot off scrums and we’d stare and laugh at each other,” Christian said.
CAPTION - Mosiah Christian in action for UQ against Brothers at Crosby Park last year.
Christian will enjoy a dream match-up on Saturday at Crosby Park where the crowd will be extra vocal for Old Boys’ Day.
He will take on Uni’s sharp Queensland Reds halfback Kalani Thomas.
“I’m keen for it. You want to play against top players and test yourself,” Christian said.
You also want to play alongside the best. The chance to play in the same backline as Wallaby James O’Connor was a treat last weekend.
The Brothers backline purred with five tries and a 35-0 lead in the opening 40 minutes when O’Connor was on the field just playing his part, not demanding the ball on every play against Souths.
“I really enjoyed the chance to play with someone who has played at Test level,” Christian said.
“James said he always likes coming down to play club footy at Brothers. He passed on a few tips about sticking to structure but also sensing the moments to break from structure.”
Strong-running centre Ash Watson made the switch from UQ to Brothers this season as well. His try against Souths highlighted a fine game from him.
It’s not one-way traffic. Lock Brad Kapa was a regular Brothers first grader before deciding on a switch to UQ last season.
Brothers stalwart Tony Shaw would be shaking his head at such transitory allegiance. Times change because it was Brothers for life for Shaw from his hirsute teenage years.
Up at the Brothers’ can bar at Crosby Park on Saturday, you’ll probably catch a glimpse of Peter Hoare. He was first grade team manager for more than 500 games, including the five straight premierships from 1980-84 when Brothers v Uni stood for some of the fiercest of club battles.
Shaw delivered some emotional words to those teams he lead as captain at a 40-Year Reunion for that special era on July 1. It was held in the club.
“This is home,” Shaw said, “We went through wars together as an exceptional group of men.”
Paul McLean, another legend of Brothers, has always held firm on this: “Outside of family, I always thought Brothers was the biggest influence on my life.”
There’ll be stories, beers and laughs shared amongst Brothers’ Old Boys from many different eras on Saturday.
They’ll be cheering whoever is wearing the blue butcher stripes regardless of the curious cases of those hopping over to Albion from St Lucia.