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Each morning as Lindsay Collins makes his way into the Kangaroos team room, he gets a powerful reminder of the family legacy he will carry on when he makes his Test debut against Scotland in Coventry.

Having fought his way back from a knee reconstruction and a number of concussions, the 26-year-old Rooster is set to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Lionel Williamson when he pulls on the green and gold jersey on Saturday.

Williamson played 11 Tests for Australia between 1968 and 1974, crossing for six tries on the end of backline which included future Immortals Graeme Langlands and Bob Fulton and Rabbitohs great Eric Simms.

So accomplished was the Innisfail-born winger that he was part of two World Cup triumphs for Australia, scoring a double in the 20-2 victory over France in the 1968 decider and crossing again in the 12-7 defeat of England in the 1970 Final.

For Collins, a glance at the Kangaroos' Honour Roll on his way to breakfast shows Kangaroo #429 Lionel Williamson sitting comfortably alongside #427 Bob Fulton, both men having debuted in the same year in 1968.

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Another 400 names have been added to the list since Williamson was doing his bit for his country, and Collins is filled with pride as he prepares to take his place in the green and gold brotherhood.

“It’s hard to get an Australian jersey and then you’ve got two in your family, it’s a little bit emotional,” Collins said.

“My grandfather was just happy for me and said ‘enjoy the experience’. He made a lot of sacrifices to achieve his goals, he was just a boy from Innisfail and he moved away from his family.

“I’ve heard about his tours, he just told me some old war stories, the three-month boat ride to go to England.

I’m sure when I line up before the game, I’ll think of him and of everything that has led up to that moment.

Kangaroos forward Lindsay Collins

After rupturing his ACL against the Knights in round eight of the 2021 season, and then battling concussion symptoms in 2022, Collins could have been forgiven for thinking it’s a dream that may have eluded him.

Having debuted for the Maroons in the stunning series upset win in 2020, he would have been a certain starter in Paul Green’s team in 2021 but the knee injury put paid to that.

The powerhouse prop fought his way back to the Origin arena this year but he was knocked out in the brutal opening stages of Game Three and then suffered another concussion in his return match for the Roosters two weeks later.

After three more games on the sideline he was back in Round 24 to face the Storm but copped a four-match ban for a hip drop tackle, effectively ending his season.

Shattered Robinson describes flattening night

Collins admits to being a “bit worried” about his chances of making the World Cup squad given his lack of football after Origin, but he had enough runs on the board to get his shot at emulating his grandfather.

“The ACL is the biggest thing - this time last year I was learning how to run again,” Collins said.

“It has been a long journey right from the start, if you go back to my debut for Origin a couple of years ago and then last year the setback with the knee.

“I was fine mentally and physically through the head knocks. That was just precautionary. I look after myself and my well-being. I was probably more worried about the suspension than the head knocks.

“There’s been a bit of adversity there but I set out a few goals and now I have the opportunity to play in a World Cup.

“I’m grateful to be here and I’m humbled to be here.”

Match Highlights: Australia v New Zealand, RLWC 2008 Final

When Collins speaks of “setting a few goals”, it runs much deeper than a throwaway line in a TV interview or telling a few mates he’d love to play Test footy one day.

Through the adversity, the endless hours of rehab and the grind that is life in the NRL, Collins remained focused on where he wanted to be, regardless of how long it took to get there.

“I write down goals every day in a notebook as a constant reminder of what you’re working towards, even when you don’t want to hop in the ice bath or you don’t want to stretch,” he said.

“It’s the same goals until I achieve them, keeping yourself accountable every day.

“It builds up over time and creates good habits and I can see what I’m striving for.”

Come Saturday morning Australian time and the resilient Rooster will be able to tick off ‘Play for Australia like Grandad did’ as he readies himself to rip into the Scots.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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