When the Monaro Under 23s take to the Goulburn Workers Arena this weekend, there could be as many as three local players on the field.
Steve Cummins, Matt Martin, and Joel Ambrose have all been named in the Monaro squad, which is readying for a clash against the Central Coast Roosters on Saturday.
Goulburn Bulldogs coach Adam Kyle was unsurprised to see their names on the list, and said all three have proven their pedigree over a number of years.
"Not really, Steve Cummins was the top try-scorer in the [Canberra Raiders Cup first grade] competition last year and has been a prolific try-scorer for Crookwell before coming over to us last season," Kyle said.
"Matt Martin's another guy that's been around the [Bulldogs] first grade team for four or five years, and certainly deserves a really good opportunity there as well.
"Joel's only new to the club this year, but he's had plenty of experience in the junior Raiders.
"We're really excited at the club that the three boys will hopefully get an opportunity to play on a bigger stage."
This weekend's match is the first of the 2020 Country Championships, in the fourth edition of the competition.
The Colts have so far made three grand finals, with a win in 2017 and losses in 2018 and 2019.
This year, Cummins said, there is an ideal balance of experience and youth in the side which makes Monaro a dangerous package.
"You always wanna do as well as you did the year before and there's some boys there who have got a bit of experience under their belt," he said.
"It's a very talented side across the park, everyone's looking good."
With rain forecast for Thursday and Friday, Cummins hopes the field will dry out in time for Saturday's clash.
"Hopefully it is a bit dry so we can spread the ball a bit because we've got a lot of speed and a lot of attack," he said.
"We'll score tries wherever because we've got a lot of talent."
Having made the move from Crookwell to Goulburn in 2019 in an effort to pursue his rugby league ambitions, Cummins was surprised to find his name on the squad list.
"It just shows me that I'm pushing it with the other young talent in Canberra and beyond," he said. "It's good to be picked really, wasn't expecting to actually get picked and it's a good achievement."
Ahead of a potential debut for Monaro this weekend, Cummins said his nerves had been eased by the presence of some familiar faces in the side.
"I played a bit with Joel at the West Wyalong Knockout," he said.
"He's a real workhorse in defence and we know Matt's just a hard runner. It definitely helps the confidence playing with guys you know."
The opportunity to host a Country Championships fixture, which last happened in 2018, is "massive" according to Kyle.
"We've got a fantastic facility there at the arena, and if you go off the surface it's second-to-none in the Canberra region," he said.
"Playing in Goulburn's a massive advantage for our three boys involved, and for their family and friends and teammates who want to come down and support them as well."
The Under 23 Monaro Colts will take on the Central Coast Roosters on Saturday, March 7 at the Goulburn Workers Arena from 11.20am. The match will be preceded by a women's clash between the Colts and the Roosters at 10am.
While you're with us...
Did you know the Goulburn Post is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up here.