IT has been four years in the making but Mandy Moore says it is definitely worth the wait.
The Orange touch footballer will represent NSW from tomorrow as they take on Queensland in the Touch Football Australia State of Origin series at Port Macquarie.
The series was last played in 2008 and since then the two state governing bodies have been unable to agree on dates for the event, until this year.
All that time Moore has been in the NSW squad and now the wait is over.
Moore will line up in the NSW over 35s women’s side to go up against their Queensland counterparts.
“It is really exciting,” Moore said.
“It’s really good you can still represent no matter how old you are. I’m really excited just to get up there and play the first game.”
Moore had to undergo various stages of selection to earn a place in the NSW side.
Since earning her place in the side after the last trials in June it hasn’t all gone to plan.
She tore her left calf muscle four weeks ago during a training game with the team.
“We were doing defence against the under 20s and everything was going great,” she explained.
“I went to scoot from dummy-half and bam. I was so devastated.”
The 40-year-old has undergone four weeks of physiotherapy and rehabilitation and passed a fitness test on the weekend to be cleared to play in the series.
NSW and Queensland will clash in 11 different divisions.
Each division will play a best-of-three-games series.
The first games will be played tomorrow afternoon and then two more games each on Saturday.
Moore said the Queensland opponents were an unknown quantity so the side would focus on their own game.
“We all hope and believe we can do really well. We have faith in each other,” she said.
“The structure and platform we play off is really awesome.”
Moore will play right link in her side, which will keep her busy.
“There’s a lot of dummy-half running and I still have to make decisions in defence,” she explained.
“The structure is different to what any of us have usually played but it’s really effective.”
She said the added bonus was everything she learns from the series she will be able to bring back and share with the Orange players.
The State of Origin series is being held in conjunction with the National Youth Championships.
Orange’s Mitch Green is playing in the NSW Combined Independent Schools team as the boys’ captain.
The NYC started yesterday and will finish on Saturday.
Moore will leave for Port Macquarie today and will have final training run with her NSW side tomorrow morning.