On Saturday night in Canberra, Brumbies prop Scott Sio will become the 60th member of the RUPA Centurions Club, and the first player to reach 100 Australian Super Rugby caps in 2019.
27-year-old Sio, who joins teammates Sam Carter, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, David Pocock, James Slipper and Henry Speight in the Club, as well as Reds opponent Scott Higginbotham, is the twelfth prop to reach the mark.
Click here to see the full list of RUPA Centurions Club members.
Ahead of the milestone, we spoke to his Brumbies and Wallabies teammate and fellow Centurion Slipper about Scott as a teammate, friend and man. Slipper and Sio first got to know one another when Scott was called into the Wallabies squad in 2013, with then Queensland Reds star Slipper suddenly finding himself in competition for the starting loosehead prop position.
This year, Slipper moved to Canberra to join the Brumbies, and the rotation between the two has been an overwhelming success as the Brumbies clinched the Australian conference in Round Seventeen, with a week to spare.
Slips on Centurion Scott Sio:
“It was clear to me right from when I first came across Scotty that he was going to be a very good player, and the reason that I say that is that while he obviously had all the attributes needed to be an influential front rower – big, strong, young, eager to learn – more importantly he was prepared to work as hard as necessary to achieve individual and team goals.
In those early years, I just remember him coming into Wallaby camp and being a lot bigger than me, and I knew from the get-go he was going to have a big career.
Over my career I have seen other players who are competing for the same position who aren’t able to be friends, but we’re extremely lucky that in our situation Scott and I have always been really good mates and our friendship has always come first. A lot of that has come through respect; we really respect what each other can do, and have achieved in the game, and importantly we respect each other immensely for the people we are.
We always try to get the very best out of each other and while we’d both love to start every game, if I was going to sit on the bench behind anybody, I’m glad it’s somebody like Scott - and I wouldn’t say that about many other players! I really do respect him, he’s a lovely bloke and deserves everything he gets.
Being a proud Polynesian man, his family is what he centres his life around and it’s very important to him. He represents his family with great pride, and that’s the basis of how he lives his life. On top of that, his work rate and the sacrifices he makes to do what he does are exceptional. He’s always been willing to put other people first, and that’s why he’s one of the more popular players in the Brumbies and Wallabies environments
He calls himself the ‘Big Dog’ and he reckons he’s a big deal in Canberra. I find it pretty funny listening to him talk about himself, but it’s all in good fun. He has a lot of skin in the game down here and that’s because of what he has done for this Club since he came down in 2012. He has invested a lot of time and energy into the Club and always puts his hands up to do extras in the community; he has a big footprint down here.
Canberra is definitely his home now; I’ve heard him say it a few times. He has really bought into living his life down here and he clearly really enjoys it. It’s a small community but one which is very tight, and all of the boys down here really buy into it.
Scott is our RUPA Player Director at the Brumbies, and his service in that important position goes back to what he is prepared to do for his teammates; he has put his hand up to represent the Brumbies players and he does it really well. He may be the big dog, but everybody is more than comfortable speaking to him and that’s really important to be a RUPA representative. He’s always had the players best interests at heart and hopefully he keeps doing it for a while yet.
Reaching 100 caps is quite rightly an extremely proud moment for Scotty. I’ve been lucky enough to get there myself, and I know playing your 100th game only comes around once.
On Saturday, he will reflect on all of the sacrifices that not only he has made, but his family have made as well, over the course of his journey. Scotty always wears his heart on his sleeve, puts his body on the line and plays with a lot of aggression, and we all respect him hugely and we can’t wait to see him out there and enjoying this occasion.
Born: Sydney, Australia, 16th October 1991
Super Rugby Caps: 99* (4 tries)
International Caps: 53* (1 try)