Super Rugby


Gendle to notch 200 for the Brethren

By Thomas Lobban 

In Brothers’ 112-year history only two players have reached the 200-cap milestone for the club. On Saturday afternoon, captain Nathanuel Gendle will become the club’s third when he leads his side out onto David Wilson Field for Round 1 of the 2017 Queensland Premier Rugby Season. 

Between 1936 and 1949 former Queensland captain Brian O’Connell earned 230 caps for Brothers, becoming the first player to reach the 200-cap milestone. Not until Andrew Coady notched 201 caps for the Brethren in 2014, did the 200-cap club welcome a new member. 

For Gendle, it’s an incredible achievement at a club that has produced 84 internationals and over 210 Queensland players since forming in 1905. 

“There’s so much history at this club. All you have to do is have a look at the list of names on the honour board in the clubhouse to see there is some of the biggest names in Rugby,” Gendle said. 

“To be only the third person in Brothers’ history to get to 200 caps is massive.” 

After graduating from Rugby nursery St. Joseph’s Nudgee College, Gendle first donned the butcher’s stripes in the colts competition in 2004. He cracked the Premier Grade side in 2006 and has been a mainstay of the Brothers’ backline ever since. 

Tasting finals series losses early in his career made Gendle so hungry to win a premiership that when he finally did, in 2009, he admits he was naive enough to think it would be a regular occurrence. 

“At that stage I thought, this is great, we’re going to win the premiership every year,” he said.

A seven-year period without silverware taught Gendle that lifting the Hospital Cup is no walk in the park. So when he got his hands back on the cup last year he had a much deeper appreciation for what the club had achieved. 

“To have that period without winning the title made me appreciate 2016 even more. I think you’ve got to lose a couple of finals to understand the level of intensity that is required.

“That will probably be my main point this year. We’ve got to keep everyone heading in the right direction, knowing that premierships don’t come around that easily.

"I think the boys can see that. I won one in 2009 and it took me seven years to win another one.” 

After 12 years, 199 caps and two premierships at Crosby Park, Gendle demonstrated his humility during a sit down with Asked about the imminent milestone prior to Brothers announcing their team for Round 1, the inside centre joked: 

“I might not even make 200 yet.” 

Any witness to Brothers’ Hospital Cup success in 2016 will be well aware of Gendle’s impact at the club. He didn’t miss a game last season and his experience at the helm of his side throughout the finals series was invaluable. 

No side has won back-to-back titles since the University of Canberra won three in a row between 2001 and 2003. Knowing this, Gendle doesn’t mince his words when asked about the season ahead.  

“When you win, you become the hunted.”

“Making the finals is even harder as every week the opposition wants to knock off the champions. We’re not going to have an easy game this season but I think the group we’ve got and the young guys coming through will really push for results.” 

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