Stage set for double centurion Aubusson
It won't be his first taste of Anzac Day football and it's unlikely to be his last but for Rooster Mitchell Aubusson on Monday afternoon the occasion doesn't get much more special.
Aubusson will play his 200th NRL game on Anzac Day and talked through the scene set for his massive milestone.
"It's hard to explain the feeling of playing on Anzac Day because it's all pretty quiet but then you come out to the big roar of 35,000 people. When the Last Post is playing you can hear a pin drop which is an amazing feeling too," Aubusson said.
"It's a deafening silence and it gives you a moment to reflect on what these diggers did for us. Once it stops and the minute of silence is complete, the roar that you feel after that – there's no other feeling like it in the game."
Aubusson holds no concerns over the likes of Latrell Mitchell, Jayden Nikorima, Mitchell Frei and Eloni Vunakece – who are still yet to reach double digits in first grade games – and how they will handle the massive occasion.
"The guys have been really good and not much fazes these young guys. They come in and they're pretty confident so they'll love the big crowd and the feeling around Anzac Day," Aubusson said.
"As they should, it's an honour to play this game. The hard part for them is they have sit through the week and watch the other games. There's a lot of talk about this game and Robbo [coach Trent Robinson] will find ways to work out how they can get on with it.
"Come Monday and the feeling you get when you wake up in the morning knowing it's an Anzac Day, it'll be something they haven't felt before. It'll be interesting to see how they handle it, which I'm sure they're capable of."
Talking about the Roosters' rookies also afforded Aubusson a chance to reflect on his debut and career so far.
Round 1, 2007 was the first time Aubusson featured in the NRL alongside fellow debutant Shaun Kenny-Dowall. A fair crop of now-experienced players, Mitchell Pearce would debut five days later.
"I was named at No. 6 because Freddie pulled me aside in the off-season and said he was going to play me there. I was like 'OK, I've never played there before but I'll give it a crack," Aubusson said.
"I remember it was wet and we got done by South Sydney but I do remember how enjoyable it was.
"Since then, I think I've played everywhere but front row and fullback. At 94 kilos I'm not sure I'd ever crack it in the front row, and I don't think I have the speed to play fullback either so we'll see if I ever get a chance to play there."