Two Forbes players have been selected for the Country under 18s side that will tour England this November.
Tough-as-nails back-rower Jack Hartwig and gun Campbell Woolnough were in the Western Rams team that powered through the country championships undefeated this year.
They went down to Illawarra in the grand final, but the sting of the loss was short-lived when an incredible eight members earned selection in the 20-strong country squad.
The two Red Bend Catholic College students along with Parkes' Ben Lovett will travel to England for a three-game tour at the end of this year.
It's the first year in the 18s for the two Forbes representatives: both had a successful season with the 16s last year.
While the country side won't get together until later in the year, Hartwig's thrilled about selection.
"It's really exciting," he said on Thursday night. "I'm really keen."
The boys' Western Rams Under 18s outfit had been undefeated through the country championship campaign, and stumbled only in the grand final against the Illawarra.
Come November, they'll be on the same side as a couple of those players in England.
The two sides went tit-for-tat throughout the opening 35 minutes of the game at Mudgee but it was Illawarra that came out firing in the new half.
Western wasn't without its chances, but each time the Rams boys ventured down in Illawarra territory they released the pressure valve at the worst moments.
"We missed our opportunities," Western coach Kurt Hancock said looking back when the score was 24-18 and the Rams were pressing.
"They've been judging themselves on us.
"It's a sign of respect for our guys but in saying that it's probably a kick in the bum, we need to get better, they're all catching up."
Although he has a few months before he'll get together with the country squad Hartwig has will see plenty of footy action this winter, starting with a three-day camp with Canterbury Bulldogs to kick off the school holiday break.
Hartwig last year inked a three-year deal with the NRL club and will fly down there several times a year while he completes his schooling in Forbes.
"I'm really looking forward to getting into it," he said.