Could the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles' visit in April be the start of something new for Mudgee?
Speaking with Steve Menzies on Tuesday, January 19, the NRL Hall of Fame inductee spoke highly of the club's desire to establish a long term relationship with the region outside of the 2021 clash.
On April 17, the Manly Sea Eagles will host the Gold Coast Titans in round six of the regular NRL season, and Menzies, the former Manly lock/second rower, said this is something the club hope to build on.
"It's a great part of the world, we are very lucky to be playing an NRL game here," he said.
"It's one of my favourite country towns, it's a beautiful area, so we would definitely love to have a longer relationship with Mudgee."
With the match well and truly outside of the trial timeline, the biggest names in both Manly and Titans will be on display, leaving Menzies to emphasise what kind of opportunity this will be for regional fans.
"I don't think the players get many opportunities to see the passion regional supporters have for their team, they know it's there, but it'll be exciting for them to come out here and feel that," he said.
"Back from my playing days, getting out to country regions is a really exciting part of it all. You get to see the passion in the kid's eyes and some of the parent's eyes that their NRL heroes and stars are out here in the flesh.
"You see them on TV, sure, but if you don't get to Sydney to watch, you've got to come out and see it. The difference this time is that it's a competition game, all of your stars are going to be here playing the whole 80 minutes, it's not a trial game. For two points, this is serious.
"You don't get the same level of intensity when playing trial matches so to come and see it is really exciting."
The Sea Eagles are hoping to be out and about within the local community in the lead up to the game but are unable to lock anything in given the turbulence of COVID-19.
"COVID is going to answer that question for us, but we definitely want to be out around the region so I'm sure there will be as much interaction that the world will allow, definitely for the kids," Menzies said.
The round six fixture will be played at Glen Willow Stadium on April 17, 2021.
Tickets are yet to be made available.