While their laid-back attitudes might fool some, the cheeky Christchurch siblings are determined to win big this season so they can spoil their big brother Sam’s yet-to-be-born baby.
“When our nephew’s born, we’re going to make sure he’s as skux as his uncles,” smiles ceiling installer Ling, 22.
“Hopefully, we make enough cash to buy the little guy a sick collection of new kicks.”
But when the three boisterous brothers catch up with Woman’s Day in Auckland, just weeks before Sam and his wife Brearna’s son is due, talk of babies quickly turns to beer and where the blokes can down a jug after our exclusive shoot.
“It’s way too quiet in Christchurch without the lads,” smiles plumber Sam, 27, who goes by the name of Sol. “I thought I’d enjoy being the favourite son, but I miss our banter down at the local pub.”
Indeed, ribbing and razzing come easily to the sports-mad trio, who grew up as the best of friends on the outskirts of Christchurch. While mummy’s boy Ling would often get a hard time for being the youngest, the boys stuck together when it really counted.
“None of us liked school much, so if we didn’t get around to doing our homework or if we wanted the last couple of periods off, we’d get Sam to forge us notes,” laughs 24-year-old plumber Zing.
“Honestly, our mum deserves a medal – dinner time was carnage at our place.
“Mum won’t even take us out for tea any more because she’s worried we might embarrass her. I’d say we take after our dad – he’s the most immature out of all of us.”
As the most senior of the trio of tradies, Sam thought his vast plumbing experience would make him a valuable contender when it came to choosing a Block teammate, but he didn’t even know his brothers were applying for the Three reality series.
“I never got the invite!” the father-to-be grins. “But I do have a lot on my plate right now. And Ling and I could never manage it. We’re too similar – we’d be throwing fists from the get-go.
Zing’s the guy who keeps everyone in line, but let’s be honest, ‘Zing and Sol’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it. There are no hard feelings, though – I’m proud as punch of the boys.”
As Ling and Zing chip away at their townhouses in Auckland, the boys – whose super-casual approach to the show has earned them the unfortunate new nick-name “Ding and Dong” on social media – are building an army of supporters back home in Christchurch.
Not a day goes by that Sam’s not stopped in the streets or confronted with a life-size cut-out of his siblings in the local sports club or hardware store.
“The family has regular viewing parties at home, but I’ve had to tap out because of the girls’ constant chatter,” says Sam.
“Between Brearna, the boys’ girlfriends and our mum, it’s almost impossible to just sit down and watch the bloody thing.”
Hearing of their girls’ unwavering support brings smiles to Ling and Zing’s faces, but you’ll be hard-pressed to catch these gruff Cantabrian blokes gushing about their lady loves.
“I’m not the romantic type,” confesses Zing, who’s been dating Alice Moore, 24, for almost two years.
“I’m missing her as you do, but we talk every night – she’s great company when you’re up painting.”
As for Ling, he insists his girlfriend, personal trainer Laura Evans, 24, couldn’t resist him when they met on the touch field four years ago.
“She filled in for our team once – then she had a crack,” he smiles.
“She’s pretty special and so driven career-wise. But no matter how into her fitness she gets, she never forces me to do a couple’s workout, which I bloody love her for.”