Aston Warwick will get on a plane next week with slightly mixed feelings.
The powerhouse back-rower is one of three Dubbo players named in the NSW Country squads which are headed for a three-game tour of the United Kingdom.
Warwick was named in the under 16s Country side along with Braye Porter, while Noah Ryan's stellar showings for the Western Rams saw him earn a spot in the 18s squad.
But while Porter and Ryan will test themselves against some of the best young talent in Europe during the two-and-a-half week tour, Warwick won't feature at all on the field.
The standout South Dubbo junior broke his collarbone in September's Dubbo District Junior Rugby League (DDJRL) under 16s grand final.
He's still three weeks away from getting back into contact work, but has kept his place in the squad and will go to the United Kingdom to soak up the experience and watch his team.
"It's a trip with the family but I get to watch the boys and I'm excited to be a part of it," he said.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it opens your eyes to different cultures.
"I'm travelling along well and it [injury] was a shame and bad timing but that's just footy. You've got to deal with the cards you get dealt."
Despite the injury blow the excitement is there for Warwick, and the same goes for Porter and Ryan.
Porter heads to the UK having already enjoyed an almighty 2019 season.
The versatile livewire represented the NSW Country under 16s earlier in the year while he also made his mark when earning a call-up to Dubbo CYMS' juniors side during the Group 11 season.
"It's been unreal," he said of his 2019.
"It's opened me up to the quality of football they get in Sydney and it's been great to bring it back to club footy."
Ryan heads overseas having taken his game to a new level in 2019.
He was at fullback for the Rams side which made it to the Daley Cup grand final earlier in the year and kept up that form during CYMS' run to the Group 11 juniors grand final.
And while the youngster does have one small concern about the trip, he's thrilled to be part of a NSW Country squad loaded with Western Rams talent.
"It will be pretty cold but a good experience. A different culture and different style of footy," he said.
"It's been a while since we played, it [Daley Cup] was about March, but it will be great to be back with the boys and have some fun in England. It will be a good experience."
Fourteen Rams juniors in total will feature across the two Country squads.
The 16s squad, as well as Porter and Warwick, features Parkes duo Finnley Neilsen and Kyle Mawhinney, Red Bend talent Matthew Noakes, and Cabonne workhorse Jackson Gersbach.
Ryan will be joined in the 18s squad by Wellington duo Rylee Blackhall and Elijah Colliss, Parkes captain Ben Lovett, leading Forbes duo Campbell Woolnough and Jack Hartwig, and Bathurst Panthers pair Mackenzie Atkins and Nathan Ward.
"I'm looking forward to the trip. It's going to be a really good experience with the high quality football and we'll get to see what it's like," Porter said.
"There's a lot of Western boys so it should be good fun."
Porter has been named at fullback for Country having delivered there for the Rams and CYMS this season.
Ryan lost out in the battle for fullback to Illawarra South Coast's Kane Ball but has been named on the wing in the 18s side.
Making the trip that bit more special is families attending as well and Porter was keen point out how much that support means.
"We wouldn't be anywhere without them so to have them come over, it will be great to see them in the stands or on the sideline," he said.
Both Country squads come together at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence for a training session on Saturday before flying out to the United Kingdom for the tour.
- UNDER 16s: Braye Porter (St Johns Dubbo / Western Rams), Rowan Mansfield (Ballina / Northern Rivers Titans), Reagan Hurley (Bombala / Monaro Colts), Reef Sommerville (Cudgen / Northern Rivers Titans), Malakhi Donovan (Sawtell / North Coast Bulldogs), Riley Lack (Murwillumbah / Northern Rivers Titans), Thomas Weaver (Cudgen / Northern Rivers Titans), Jackson Gersbach (Cabonne / Western Rams), Oskar Bryant (Cudgen / Northern Rivers Titans), Jack Cullen (Cudgen / Northern Rivers Titans), Keegan Kenny (Gungahlin/ Monaro Colts), Mitchell Prest (Young / Monaro Colts), Finnley Neilsen (Parkes Marist / Western Rams), Kyle Mawhinney (Parkes Marist / Western Rams), Noah Johannssen (Tweed Heads / Northern Rivers Titans), Mark Simon (Farrer / Greater Northern Tigers), Matthew Noakes (Red Bend / Western Rams), Keegan Pace (Cudgen / Northern Rivers Titans), Bayley Cox (Murwillumbah / Northern Rivers Titans), Jock Brazel (Moree / Greater Northern Tigers). Coach: Shaun Davison
- UNDER 18s: 1. Kane Ball (Albion Park / Illawarra South Coast Dragons), 2. Noah Ryan (Dubbo CYMS / Western Rams), 3. Benjamin Lovett (Parkes / Western Rams), 4. Mackenzie Atkins (Bathurst Panthers / Western Rams), 5. Linkin Bradley (Queanbeyan Blues / Monaro Colts), 6. Tyrone Roberts (Dapto / Illawarra South Coast Dragons), 7. Rylee Blackhall (Wellington / Western Rams), 8. Liam Henry (Blayney / Western Rams), 9. Campbell Woolnough (Forbes / Western Rams), 10. Kane Smith (Woden Weston / Monaro Colts), 11. Jack Hartwig (Forbes / Western Rams), 12. Phoenix Vetenibua-Finnerty (Western Suburbs / Illawarra South Coast Dragons), 13. Nathan Ward (Bathurst Panthers / Western Rams), 14. Elijah Colliss (Wellington / Western Rams), 15. Nathan Kegg-King (Wyong / Central Coast Roosters), 16. Ulysses Roberts (Macksville / North Coast Bulldogs), 17. Brock Parker (Coffs Harbour / North Coast Bulldogs), 18. Jack Peppernell (Goulburn Juniors / Monaro Colts), 19. Nelson Sharp (Thirroul / Illawarra South Coast Dragons), 20. Harry Whitfield (Cessnock / Newcastle Knights DS). Coach: Jason Kelly