WORCESTER Warriors lock Andrew Kitchener won praise from his elder brother Graham after he got the better of their sibling rivalry in Saturday’s 31-12 Premiership Rugby Cup win over Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.
The brothers found themselves lining up against each other for the first time when Andrew came on as a replacement midway through the second half and he immediately stole a lineout from Graham, who began his career with Warriors before moving to Leicester.
“It was our first time together so it was slightly weird. He stole a lineout soon after he came on so I’ll be having words,” said Graham.
“Dad always said that he didn’t really want to see us play against each other but it happened and little brother came out on top so fair play to him.
“I have been really impressed with him. He’s made the step up to the Premiership really well. Even when he came on today he put himself about with his physicality. He’s a pretty tall unit and stole a couple of our lineouts which is another string to his bow.
“If he gets the chance at Worcester and whenever he has got the chance he has acquitted himself well so I think he’s got a big, big future.
“If he gets a run of games and maybe puts on a couple of kilos he will be in that team for a long time.”
Andrew, seven years Graham’s junior and still a member of the Three Pears Warriors Academy, grew up watching his brother play and did not expect to get the chance to play against him.
“It was fairly weird. There’s quite a big age gap between us so I have grown up watching him play,” Andrew said.
“It was always unlikely I thought we would get the chance to play against each other. Playing with each other would be nice.
“That was a bit strange today. Once we got out there it was pretty normal, we tried to treat it like any other game. But when there was a stoppage we went over and had a few words and a bit of a laugh.
“I have been to plenty of matches where I have been cheering Graham on. It’s been great to see him rise through the ranks to become an established player at Leicester.
“It’s been great to see that but being on the pitch with him today was a little bit different to usual.”