There’s no doubt in Jack de Belin’s mind.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
If it weren’t for bush footy, the in-form St George Illawarra lock wouldn’t be playing in the NRL, let alone emerge as one of the in-form players during the opening two months of the premiership.
So when offered a NSW Country jumper, the Cootamundra Bulldogs junior takes it – every time.
“I played last year, it’s a great honour,” de Belin said.
When NRL coaches are digging their heels in and restricting the availability of their players ahead of the final City-Country clash at Mudgee on Sunday, de Belin’s mentality is refreshing.
“When you think about it, if it wasn’t for Country Rugby League and Cootamundra Bulldogs I wouldn’t be here,” he continued.
“Representative week … it’s a big honour and a bit of recognition that you’re playing good footy.”
For a player like de Belin, in career-best form and on the cusp of higher representative honours, a strong outing at Glen Willow gives Blues coach Laurie Daley plenty to think about.
“First and foremost, you’ve got to play good club footy, but you’ve also got to show you can perform at the next level too,” he said.
Preparations for Sunday’s City-Country at Glen Willow are in full swing, with both coaches naming extended squads set to make the trip to Mudgee.
Fans in the central west will be disappointed players the calibre of Josh Jackson, Jack Wighton, Isaah Yeo and James Maloney will be absent.
Tickets are still on sale at http://tickets.nrl.com/city-country.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.