The Group 10 All Stars clash is a special occasion for the Indigenous side set to run out at King George Oval on Saturday.
The chance to celebrate their culture in front of family, friends and the wider rugby league community an opportunity too good to pass up.
But for the Group 10 side formed and then tasked with combating the inevitable pride and skill on full display from the Indigenous team, well, really, what’s in it for them?
Plenty, if you’re Group 10 All Stars lock Tim Mortimer.
Especially after Country Rugby League changed its representative football structure, one that now caters solely for players aged 23 and under.
“With all respect to the Indigenous boys, we’re there representing the rest of the Group so we’re keen to put in a good performance,” Mortimer (30) said, a former Group 10 and Western Division player.
“It’s more or less the only form of representative footy a lot of us will get the chance to play now after the changes.
“I’m really looking forward to the chance to play with the calibre of some of these guys in our team, and play against the Indigenous guys as well.
“It’s a great day to be part of and it’s important we help do our bit and celebrate the indigenous boys’ culture. It’s going to be a great experience.”
Mortimer is one of five Orange CYMS players named by club coach Mick Sullivan, tasked with the challenge of matching the class and speed in the Indigenous All Stars ranks come kick-off at King George Oval.
Sullivan has picked a monster outfit, with six forwards on his seven-man bench, but Mortimer insists the Group 10 outfit’s sole focus isn’t on blazing straight through the middle or Will Ingram’s Indigenous team.
“There’s going to be a good crowd and the entire day should be a great experience. There’s quality players in both sides and I expect it’ll be pretty entertaining,” he added.
“It’s only the pre-season, fairly early in the pre-season for most of us, so there might be a few cobwebs to blow out.”
Mortimer will also get his first glimpse at two of his biggest crosstown rivals in the clash, with Hawks duo Willie Heta and Sione Tongia both picked to play.
Heta is, reportedly, all class in the halves while Tongia has a reputation for skittling opposition three-quarters at will.
“We had a training run on Wednesday night and got the chance to meet everyone,” Mortimer said. “They’re great guys, I think all rugby league people are. It’s going to be great to play alongside them. They’re exciting players.”
Kick-off is at 4pm.
GROUP 10 ALL STARS: 1 Ben McAlpine (Orange CYMS), 2 Nathan Orr (Mudgee Dragons), 3 Jedd Kennedy (Orange Hawks), 4 Sione Tongia (Orange Hawks), 5 Keelan Bresac (Lithgow Workies), 6 Willie Heta (Orange Hawks), 7 Cameron Bruest (Cowra Magpies), 8 Brent Seager (Bathurst Panthers), 9 Ben Thompson (Mudgee Dragons), 10 Chris Bamford (Orange CYMS), 11 Todd Munn (Mudgee Dragons), 12 Mitch Case (Lithgow Workies), 13 Tim Mortimer (Orange CYMS); 14 Rakai Tuheke (Blayney Bears), 15 Mitch Davis (Orange CYMS), 16 Jake Betts (Bathurst Panthers), 17 Jerome Harrison (Orange CYMS), 18 Blake Tidswell (Cowra Magpies), 19 Nick Harvey (Mudgee Dragons), 20 (Demitrius Ainuu (Mudgee Dragons).