‘Do it for me son’.
That is the message from Jared Waerea-Hargreaves' father
who served as a military officer for New Zealand - the message comes ahead of the Roosters traditional clash
with the Dragons on ANZAC Day.
The young Roosters forward has been labelled the ‘hard
man’ of the Tri-Colours pack, but admits this game moves him like no other.
Hargreaves gets excited and emotional when he thinks about his father and
family who have served for their country.
“I have a few family members in the services, [it] gets me
every year this game, it is something special for myself and family,”
Hargreaves tells NRL.com.
“My father served in a few hot spots, in Cambodia,
Yugoslavia, Baghdad and Iraq and stuff like that. This game is the only game
each year that he says ‘do this one for me son’.
“It sort of gives me Goosebumps just talking about it.”
Hargreaves grew up with his father constantly away serving
for his country. There were times that he admits he was worried about his dad,
but the enormity of the situation was somewhat lost on him as a kid.
The Roosters resident larrikin always believed his father
would be okay.
“I was eight when he was off, but ever since I’ve been 18
he served through those years and it was tough as a child and as a kid,”
“He sort of didn’t really think too much about his kids.
It was more the addiction and the adrenalin of the warzones, it is good to have
him back and he is all retired now.
“There were a few stories that got the blood rush going.
As a kid you always think that he’ll be right, looking back at it, it is pretty
awesome to say that my father served for his country and for other countries.
It is why this game will always have special significance
for Hargreaves. When the two teams line up at Allianz Stadium embraced shoulder
to shoulder with their teammates, and a soft silence falls gently across the ground, when the
Last Post pierces the silence, Hargreaves will reflect.
The big 108kg prop from New Zealand will be thinking
about his dad.
“With the old veterans going around the field before kick-off,
when we are out there hearing the last post, it is something pretty special,”
“We haven’t won one since I’ve been at the club, I think
it has been about five years since the club has actually won one, there are a
few new faces around the club and we’ll be doing our best and trying to get
“It would be a privilege and honour to get that medal and
to win the game.”
A privilege and an honour, to do it for dad.
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