As a home grown Mudgee boy, former NRL star Jamie Fitzgerald is unable to stress how valuable it is for games, such as this Sunday's clash between the St George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights, to be brought out to country areas.
Growing up in the bush meant Fitzgerald had limited access to rugby league players, but says for kids these days, to see their idols in the flesh means a lot more than just a game.
"It's a fantastic spectacle for not only all codes of sport, but for all kids in general," he said.
It's something I never got as a kid but it really allows kids to instead of travelling four hours, it's in their own backyard.Jamie Fitzgerald
Having played for both teams set to do battle on Sunday in the early 2000's, Fitzgerald was initially hesitant to pick a favourite before naming the home towners.
"I'm not allowed to say that, am I?" he laughed.
"They're both my favourite clubs but the first club I really played my best footy at was St George, I've probably got a soft spot for them.
"But in saying that, I've got good mates in Newcastle. Both are fantastic clubs but it'll probably have to be red and white."
With the Knights heading into the match with three wins in a row, while the Dragons have had opposing results, Fitzgerald says the game is likely to be close.
"They've both been pretty up and down I suppose, they're all got not much consistency but the top two sides, really," he said.
"I know Newcastle are full of confidence at the moment and they've got a good coach, Nathan Brown.
I pick a hometown advantage for the Dragons and I'd pick them, depending on how Ponga plays, just by about six. Either way it's going to be very close.
This round will see the Knights wear hi-vis jerseys to support mining due to the significance it has in both the Mudgee and Hunter region.
"I think if they [Newcastle] get a close affiliation, they could build a very good relationship," Jamie said.
"Newcastle wearing the hi-vis is something special for the region. I think overall it is to support mining in general and recognise what mining does for both regions.
"The majority of the supporters are probably miners and I think all in all it's a great concept and really relates to the Mudgee and district area.
It's a highlight to show NSW Mining is very supportive and at the forefront to make sure mining in the Mudgee area stays strong. It's going to relate to everyone around this area.
The Newcastle Knights will take on the St George Illawarra Dragons at 2pm, Glen Willow Stadium on May 19.
Gates will open at 11.30am.