Australian Test players Aaron Woods and David Klemmer can’t speak highly enough about Manly’s Trbojevic brothers.
Sea Eagles Media Manager Wayne Cousins sat down with the Kangaroos pair to talk about Jake and Tom, golf, and their respect for the Trbojevic family.
Wayne: Jake has developed a fine reputation for his great work ethic and his strong defensive techniques. How do you find playing against him?
David: Jakey is a bloke who just turns up every week. He is very consistent in the way he plays his footy. He is one of the toughest blokes playing the game and he is improving every year. It is scary to think how good he will be by the time he finishes playing because he is an outstanding player and ambassador for the game. I hate playing against him because you know he is going to try and cut you in half. He has a bit of skill too when he has the ball in his hands. He is always working hard for his team-mates.
Aaron: Jake is the type of bloke you know what you are going to get from him week in, week out. There is no nonsense. He has a very good combination with Tom and they will catch you out if you are lazy in defence on the inside. The one big thing when you do play against Jake is you do have to look up and see if he is in front of you in the line. You don’t want to run straight at him because he will zap you like there is no tomorrow. Off the field, he is a laid back character, bit like myself and big ‘Klem’. We just like to go with the flow and once we are on the field, we like to switch on. It’s why we get on like a house on fire.
Wayne: Off the field, how do you cope with Jake’s passion for golf. He just lives and breathes it?
Aaron: Oh my God, let’s talk about golf. Every time we go to a shop or a café to order a coffee or food, Jake will be standing there, gets his hands into position, and will start swinging like he is out playing golf. I’m telling you, it went on for seven weeks on the Four Nations tour last year. All he talks about is golf. All he wears is Titleist caps and golf polos. He took ‘Klem’ and I to a golf driving range once.
David: He sprayed me big time (laughing). I said to Jake I haven’t played golf for a long time. I told him it’s okay for you because you practise every day.
Aaron: He sprayed ‘Klem’ alright. Jake and I were using a driver, and ‘Klem’ was using a pitching wedge. ‘Klem’ was just out there having some fun. Jake was out there like he was Tiger Woods (laughing).
David: He was screaming at me. I said I am just having some fun (laughs)
Wayne: You should know who his favourite golfer is then?
David: Jordan Spieth. I hate to see how Jakey would be if they ever met (laughing)… and throw in big Tommy, too.
Wayne: What about Tommy. This World Cup is a huge learning experience for him?
Aaron: The best thing for Tommy is there is an abundance of full-backs here in Billy Slater, Cameron Munster and Valentine Holmes. Billy is probably one of the best full-backs to ever play the game. It is a good learning curve for Tommy, getting to see how they go about their business on the training paddock and how they prepare for games. It will help Tommy mature as a full-back. This tour is only going to make him an incredible player. He already is a great player but I think he will go to another level next year by playing with the best of the best.
David: Tommy is a great talent and fully deserves his selection. That’s the best thing about these teams is that you are around some of the greats of the game and you just feed off them and how they go about their business.
Wayne: Tommy loves his golf too but he is not as obsessed about it as Jake?
David: Tommy just loves being around the boys and having a good time.
Aaron: Tommy is always on his phone (laughs).
David: He is always on his phone. Snapchatting people about anything.
Aaron: Seriously though, Tommy is one of the greats. He is a good fella.
Wayne: You both also have a lot of time for the Trbojevic family?
Aaron: ‘Klem’ and I love the Trbojevic family. We met their old man, John, and their mum, Melissa, on the Four Nations tour. John has got the biggest mitts I’ve ever shaken in my life. You can see why Jake and Tom are such good young guys because of the way the family has been brought up. The two younger brothers are nice too. We got to hang out with them a fair bit in Origin camp as well. It is a credit to their parents.
David: The parents are very proud of all of their boys, and so they should be. They have brought them up really well. To see Jake and Tom wear the Australian jersey together one day will be a very special moment for them.
Wayne: Thanks for the entertaining chat boys.
Aaron: Too easy, brother. Good fun.