For Billy Brisbane, May 10 was a long time in the making.
After playing Central West for years and years, NSW Country selection was always just out of his grasp.
However, news of under 18s Country selection on that date was just rewards for years of perseverance.
"I was pretty excited," he said on finding out the news.
The talented Orange Emus' flanker travelled to Maitland in early May and on arrival, found a healthy competition for spots with plenty of back-rowers among the group.
Despite the numbers, he was fairly confident of selection.
"I think I did alright, I was a bit worried because there was a lot of back-rowers trialing for the same position," Brisbane said.
"We played some great games when we went up there, everyone went pretty well and it was good competition.
"They haven't ever done an individual trial like that, usually you have to play Central West and then play a tournament at country champs and they pick you from there."
For Brisbane the chance to mix it with the best has him keen for the upcoming fixtures.
"The opportunity to play, going away representing Country and playing a high level of rugby (is what excites me)," he said.
Having played Central West at a young age, Brisbane said the difference in standard between club and representative rugby comes from the game's pace.
"It's a lot faster, higher speed and everyone knows what they're doing and it's easier to fit in," he explained.
"Heaps of people are talking, they push you where to go and it's more competitive."
With the Country squad made up of players all around the state, Brisbane will have a few familiar faces among the set up and the opportunity to play with Orange City's Ollie Connaughton is an exciting prospect.
"A few are from my New South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges side and I've played a lot of rugby with Ollie growing up," he said.
"I was pretty excited when we both made it, we've grown up playing Central West together since we were in under 12s."
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