GREATER Western Sydney’s ruck rotation will land on another member of ‘Mumford and sons’ with Kieren Briggs set to be selected for his debut and face Richmond on Saturday night.
Briggs is in his third season at the Giants after being taken with pick No.34 in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft.
The 200cm ruckman missed out on being drafted at his first opportunity but was retained at the Giants Academy as a 19-year-old, allowing him to train with the senior team through the 2018 pre-season.
GIANTS CONFIDENT ON HOGAN Forward to return to face Tigers
It was during this period that veteran Shane Mumford delivered a well-timed rocket to the young ruckman that led to him knuckling down and later earning a place on the Giants’ list.
Mumford is still offering valuable advice to Briggs, now working with him as his ruck coach as well as his stiffest competition each week for a place in the Giants’ team.
"It was a really eye-opening chat. It was sort of mid-way through pre-season and he just challenged me whether I really wanted to be there or not. I think it was really pivotal,” Briggs said.
"He's been nothing but helpful. There is a little joke of ‘Mumford and sons’, he's got his own kids but then there's [Matt] Flynn and me as well. So it’s 'Mumford and his other two sons'.
“He's also been a great role model and leader for the younger ruckmen. Just being able to teach me my craft, and soft hands and things like that, as well as the crash and bash style that Mumford has.”
Briggs will become the first Giants player to have also grown up supporting the club when he runs out at Marvel Stadium, most likely at the expense of his mentor Mumford who is expected to be rested.
The 21-year-old grew up in Carlingford in western Sydney, which he said put him about one kilometre inside the Giants Academy zone, otherwise he might be lining up for crosstown rivals Sydney.
"It was definitely hard to support [the Giants] in the early days, I won't lie about that,” Briggs said.
“As we progressed and grew as a club, it was really cool to be there and watch that happen.
“To go out and play this weekend is just a great... and hopefully inspires other kids in western Sydney.”
During his draft year Briggs was sometimes compared to Toby Nankervis, as well as Mumford, and will now take on the Tigers’ ruckman in his debut game.
Briggs said he will look to match the three-time premiership player around the ground and in the contest, while bringing his own strengths that come with a 107kg frame.
"That follow-up, that tackle pressure, as well as my ability to jump at the ball and take it at its highest point,” Briggs pointed to as his many one-woods.
“I just want to give my mids first service and if I roll forward then hopefully bring it to ground for those smalls to go to work.”