Whenever Chris Alcock runs out with the Brumbies, he’s joining a long list of illustrious names to have donned the franchise’s No.7 jersey.
His immediate predecessor, David Pocock, is just the start of the names on the list, and one of the others Alcock’s childhood idol George Smith, and arguably the greatest, will be on the other side on Saturday night.
While the past is something he tries not to distract himself with, Alcock appreciates the significance.
“I just focus on what I need to do and what the coaches tell me my goal (is) for each game and I just try and work on that and try not to think about who's worn the jersey before,” Alcock said.
“Whenever I wear that jersey I wear it with pride and put everything out there and show that I deserve to be wearing it.”
Alcock and Smith are unlikely to be going at it face-to-face on Saturday night, but the match will be a litmus test for the former Force and Waratahs flanker, who has finally shaken off his injury-interrupted past.
“There's not often that you actually find yourself head-to-head with them but we're both trying to do the same thing at the breakdown and we've both got our own roles to play,” he said.
“You watch his games and he has great involvements all the time and he does change the game.
“I'm going to do my best to see how I go against him and whatever happens happens.” - Chris Alcock
Brumbies centre Andrew Smith was at the club when George last played in Canberra and can’t wait to see him back.
“He was always a player I looked up to and admired,” Smith said.
“He’s an unbelievable player, so always good to learn off him about his training habits and stuff at the time.
“Will be good to play against him.”
While Alcock is settled in Canberra now, he is adamant his former franchise, the Force deserves a future, though he’s not preoccupied by the speculation.
“I think it would be taking a step backwards if we don't have five teams,” he said.
“They are very good supporters (in Perth) and rugby is growing over there, so a lot of people would be very upset if an Australian team does get cut.
“I don't think in our playing group it's affecting us.
“Until the ARU comes out and says what they're going to do, there's no point wondering.”
The Brumbies host the Reds on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on RUGBY.com.au