When United Warriors back rower Michael Newman was growing up in the Central West, he used to look up to the likes of the Canobolas Cougars, a footy team that had a huge Indigenous contingent.
Fast forward a couple of decades and the 32-year-old is playing in a similar set-up to the one he admired as a kid as the Orange United Warriors is an all-Aboriginal playing group, made up of talent from surrounding areas.
Newman had spent the last handful of seasons at Orange Barbarians and after the club lost a grand final to CSU, he felt it was time for a change.
When he caught wind of what was brewing at Warriors HQ, he didn't waste a second signing up.
"I just had to be a part of it," Newman said.
"Footy's really synonymous with Aboriginal people and that's a good thing about our team... we're all genuine footballers.
"The mix and depth is our team is good and we're all good with the ball."
When you think Indigenous rugby league talent, you think about the likes of Matty Bowen, Preston Campbell and Nathan Blacklock, a trio of Wiradjuri talent that took the NRL by storm with out-of-this-world speed, charisma and ball skills.
But it's not just speed that this newly-formed United side has, it's size as well. The forward pack blew Kandos off the park in the opening 40 minutes of their debut clash and they plan to do the same to CSU as they're set to do battle with the students at Carrington Park on Saturday night.
"We've got our work cut out for us this weekend," he said.
"We need to focus on controlling things through the ruck. They work off the back of quick play-the-balls.
"CSU is a strong team and they've always had the luxury of being able to recruit players through the uni. Thank god Billy [Dickinson] has moved on."
The match will be played on the same Saturday night that a trio of NRL sides do battle in the annual Indigenous round as all 16 clubs are set to don specially designed strips for the games.
Newman's had a look at the jerseys the professionals will run out in this weekend but he's even fonder of the one he'll wear at Bathurst.
"It's really special to put the kit on and I'm really proud to do so," he said.
"It's our own colours, our own local artist and our own strip... it's one of the better ones I've seen going around."
Beahan's boys will take on the CSU Mungoes at 6pm, while the women's league-tag side will look to bounce back from a round one loss at 4.30pm.
Both games will take place at Carrington Park.
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