IF possible, the round one Group 10 derby and grand final rematch between Orange CYMS and Orange Hawks just became bigger.
The green and golds will be bolstered by the inclusion of former Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs star Matt King, with the premiership-winning three-quarter signing on to play a cameo role for CYMS in 2014.
The ideal way for the Group 10 season to kick-off, King will run out in the centres for CYMS on Saturday, April 5, under lights at Wade Park.
CYMS captain-coach Mick Sullivan said the signature of King for the one-time cameo was under a similar premise to the deal struck with Brett Kimmorley 12 months ago, with the then Bulldogs assistant forced to withdraw due to his move to the Canberra Raiders coaching staff.
King’s deal, however, is certain.
Set to add star power to the biggest rivalry in Group 10, King’s arrival in green and gold has the potential to attract one of the largest derby crowds seen at Wade Park outside of a finals series.
“It’ll definitely raise interest in the match,” Sullivan said, with King retiring from NRL football with South Sydney in 2013.
King was on hand to present the premiers medals to CYMS following last year’s 22-14 grand final victory over Hawks.
“He’ll do great things for us,” Sullivan continued.
“With the experience he’ll bring, it’ll be good for our guys to be able to pick his brain; how he prepares, defends, runs the ball. It’s great for the club.”
Sullivan is hopeful King will be able to travel to Orange on the eve of the Saturday blockbuster.
However, with King’s role as an assistant coach at the Rabbitohs set to determine his arrival date, Sullivan is banking on his gun recruit landing in the city on the morning of the round one match.
That won’t harm CYMS’ preparation though.
“He’s played plenty of representative football, so it’s not a concern. He’ll pick things up quickly,” Sullivan said.
“He’ll play in the centres and most of our plays he’ll be familiar with, they’ll just have a different name. Hopefully we can put a winger outside him who can finish off what he creates or Wok [Warick Colley] and Macca [Ben McAlpine] can create stuff for him.
“Defensively he’ll be great too. Hawks are a big side so he’ll do a job there.”
Representing in 10 games for Australia and nine State of Origins for NSW, King is the first player of his ilk to play in Group 10 since Balmain legend Paul Sironen played with the Blayney Bears in the late 1990s.
“He’ll be motivated,” Sullivan said.
“He loves playing in front of big crowds and our biggest crowds are derby crowds.”
CYMS host Hawks at Wade Park on Saturday, April 5, with premier league kicking off at 6pm.