Tigers star to team up with family
By MEGAN KINNINMENT
WHEN West Tigers forward Anthony Laffranchi was 15 years old, he spent $50 to buy his own NSW football jersey, complete with his name printed on the back.
It was a telltale sign his big brother was destined to make it to a grand final, Marc Laffranchi, of Burringbar, said yesterday.
"Even from a young age he wanted to play in a grand final," the Byron Shire News graphic designer said.
"It's always been a dream of his."
This Sunday, his big brother will live out that dream when the Wests Tigers take on the North Queensland Cowboys at the Telstra Stadium in Sydney, after the Tigers beat St George last weekend.
"I spoke to him just after the game and he was over the moon," Marc said.
"He said how intense it was.
"He said it was the fastest game he'd ever played."
Marc, his sister Anita and his parents will fly to Sydney from Burringbar to cheer on Anthony, but he is also looking forward to the next day.
"They call it Mad Monday after a grand final," Marc said of the celebrations ? or commiserations ? that follow a team's grand final match.
And to make it an even bigger week, Anthony will marry girlfriend Peita-Lee five days later on the Friday, with Marc as best man.
"If they win it could end up being a mad week," Marc laughed.
As boys the Laffranchi brothers both played for the Murwillumbah Colts, but at 15 Marc bowed out of the game after shattering his elbow, while Anthony had found his vocation.
"As a kid it wasn't that he was the superstar standout, but he always put in the extra training," Marc said. "He's a workhorse.".
That hard work has certainly paid off for the young forward, who will join the Gold Coast Titans in 2007.
"Obviously he'd like to win a grand final before he starts with the Titans," Marc said.