For well over a century, City-Country has been there for us all. It’s been there for the bush.
Kicking off in 1911 when a metropolitan representative side played against a team of the country’s best, that first match went to City 29-8 but it’s a clash that has forever belonged to the bush.
Now, 106 years later, this is the end.
The final fixture of NSW representative origin will be played at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Regional Sporting Complex, kicking off on Sunday at 4pm.
Following a week-long tour of the region, beginning in Orange on Monday, close to 40 NRL players – including Michael Gordon, Paul Vaughan, Cody Walker, Damien Cook and Country skipper Mitch Aubusson – have made the trip to the central west for the fixture’s goodbye tour.
Though this is the last clash, Country coach Craig Fitzgibbon believes with better scheduling the imminent demise of the annual clash might have been prevented.
Much of the lustre of the final year of the traditional fixture has been taken away by the volume of star players unavailable for selection.
“It's disappointing, the scheduling," Fitzgibbon said.
"It puts a strain on clubs, it puts a strain on the concept and that's possibly why it's the last season.”
Michael Gordon, the Country outfit’s fullback, has been involved in events in Mudgee already, like the best-dressed shopfront competition, and is eager to see the series go out with a bang.
“I’m super excited to be playing and to be representing Country,” Gordon said.
Sunday is Gordon’s third Country cap. He’ll be sad to see the fixture removed from the rep calendar.
“It really hasn’t hit yet, that it’s the last one,” he admitted.
“It’ll be on the game day that it feels like that, I think. It’s a real bittersweet feeling but to have a spot in the final one is special for me.
“I don’t know if just taking trials and games to the bush is the answer, City-Country still has a place in it all and I don’t think its time is up.”
Pitts Lane will be closed to general traffic this Sunday, with parking available in the council car park.