This weekend two brothers, if selected, will go head to head at the Madejski Stadium in an Aviva Premiership rugby match to decide family bragging rights.
London Irish captain, Matt Symons will face younger brother, Andy who plays in the centre for Worcester Warriors in a crucial encounter for both teams.
Matt recalls his sibling’s competitive nature growing up. “We were both really competitive growing up. There were lots of rugby games in the garden and we would often beat up our younger brother, Will. We were very competitive and would always look to get one up on one another.”
Matt, who is the oldest of four, started his rugby career at school, playing alongside Andy. “We played a few games of school boy rugby together, half of those were spent fighting the opposition. It wasn’t a rugby school, it was a football school so we could barely get a side together. I used to play number 8 and Andy played at scrum half, it was always good fun.”
Following a three year stint rowing where he was based in Reading, Matt decided to up sticks and head down to New Zealand, where younger brother Andy was playing rugby. This is when the two brothers locked horns for the first time.
“We played against each other once before professionally. I played for Canterbury and he was playing for Tasman in the ITM Cup in New Zealand. Our mum flew over to watch the game in Nelson. We got the win which was pleasing, there was no niggle, we were both well behaved. Andy tried to throw a dummy though and I didn’t buy it, so I got one up on him that day.”
According to Matt, there will not be too much contact with Andy this week as he prepares for a huge game on Sunday.
“It is a massive game, not too much to be said really, we know how important it is. We’ve had a few crunch games already this season, so we feel like we are prepared for the challenge, but they are a quality side, very motivated and competitive, we know it is going to be a huge challenge.”
Mr and Mrs Symons will both be in attendance and, when asked who will be supporting who, Matt goes on to say
“Mum and dad will both be there and they will be sitting on the fence hoping that neither of us get injured.”
Tickets for Sunday’s match between London Irish at Worcester Warriors are available to purchase by clicking here on by calling the ticket office on 0118 968 1016.
Season ticket holders can purchase tickets at half price to bring friends and family along to celebrate Sibling Sunday by calling the ticket office on 0118 968 1016.