Brothers in arms, the family club
By Tom Ross
Brothers Ek Lambert-Leplastrier and Aero Leplastrier will reunite at the Gungahlin Eagles this season with aspirations of taking the field side-by-side.
The boys from the Northern Beaches both experienced times of hardship where they thought to give up the game, but the hope of wearing the black and red jersey together has reignited their passion for Rugby.
Aero, is the eldest of three brothers (Areo, Mallee and Ek) and graduated his studies at ANU in 2015, but has returned to finish his honours in Earth and Marine Science.
When he isn’t scuba diving with Manta Rays and Tiger sharks, the 25-year- old is training hard and gearing up for his first game of Rugby since 2015.
If anyone has ever met Aero, they would say the young man is extremely humble, oozes modesty and would do anything for friends and family.
A major ACL injury and commitment to studies has kept him out of the game, but Aero says that he is stoked to lace up the boots for 2018 with Gungahlin.
“The camaraderie is second to none.” Aero said.
“Ek and I noticed that from the first preseason training we attended and everyone made the effort to get to know us,
“I didn’t play footy last year, because I spent most weekends in the first part of the year driving back to Sydney to help out my grandma.”
“By the time I had my weekends back again, the footy season was already in full swing and my knee wasn’t fully up to scratch after surgery.”
Aero has always dreamed about taking the field with his brothers and he is eager to take the opportunity to do so in 2018.
“I’ve wanted to play alongside one of my brothers for over 15 years and I think it would be sensational to set Ek up for a try in front of mum and dad,” Aero added.
“Ek is a great footy player and an even better bloke – can’t wait to run on with him.”
Ek Lambert-Leplastrier (who has taken both his mother and father’s last name) stands at 201cm tall and was a part of the New South Wales schools program in 2017.
The Gungahlin rookie is following in his brother’s footsteps and has made the move to study environmental science at the University of Canberra.
The story of how Ek got his name is quite an interesting tale.
His Grandfather Eric was always nicknamed ‘Ek’ by his brothers and after Eric’s passing, the name Ek was a perfect fit. Only celebrating his 18th birthday in January, Ek has an enthusiastic approach to Rugby and will prove a handful in the Canberra competition this year.
Just last year, the 18-year- old realised that he wasn’t enjoying Rugby anymore, but winning the opens under 18’s final with his former club Newport, helped rekindle his love for the sport.
“I started not enjoying Rugby during that national championships because of all the people I was around,” Ek said
“I just started hating it just because of how much I had to train and commit, but I got through that once it finished and when I won my opens Grand Final for Newport, I just fell back in love with the sport,”
“That was probably the hardest thing, not being able to enjoy Rugby as much.”
Both brothers absolutely idolise Brumbies Flanker, David Pocock and believe that how he manages his Rugby career and love of the environment is truly inspiring.
“It wasn’t just how good a Rugby player he was, but how good a bloke he is and how proactive he is in terms of the environment,” Ek said.
Now Ek is settling in well with his new Gungahlin Eagles family and cannot wait to get stuck into the 2018 season.
“I went to another couple of clubs in Canberra and I just didn’t get the same vibe that I did at Gungahlin,” Ek said.
“I didn’t really want to make the move down here, I just wanted to stay home and travel for a year, maybe get a job, but it was too good an opportunity to let go.”
The boys from Pittwater join a long list of family ties within the club and are already stamping their mark as real competitors at the club.
See Ek and Aero take the field in round 1 when the Eagles go up against Queanbeyan (away) on April 7.