Justin Toomey-White knows better than most the benefits of senior, open-age representative footy.
It was there where he shone in 2014, captaining the Western Rams, and it led to the chance to go and play with the Wyong Roos in the NSW Super Intrust Premiership.
He spent time training with the Sydney Roosters while at the Roos and was only ever an injury or two away from a crack at the NRL.
That opportunity never came but now back home at Wellington, Toomey-White has just been announced as the captain-coach of the Group 11 senior representative team.
It marks a return of the side after no senior team was fielded in 2017 due to the Country Rugby League changing the championships from an open-age to an under 23s tournament.
“This is a really good opportunity. It was a bit sad when it got changed to 23s and there was no opportunities because people love to play rep footy,” he said.
“This is a chance to represent Group 11 and I’m going to grab that opportunity and give back to the competition and the region.”
Toomey-White was older than 23 when he made the move Wyong and he will attempt to help other Group 11 players take their chance at the higher level when his side meets Group 10 at Bathurst on April 21.
Now back out west, Toomey-White is not only determined to do his part to help the Cowboys improve, he wants to play whatever role he can to help the standard improve across the region.
That was one of the driving factors behind him taking on the role.
In terms of the squad he has got, Toomey-White is excited by the fact there is a number of familiar combinations throughout.
CYMS provides three members of the backline, including John Grey now he’s out of retirement, and the two starting props while in a real boost for Narromine there will be Jets players in the halves and at hooker.
New captain-coach Wes Middleton will wear the nine while fellow recruits Tyrone Walsh and Travis Lowe will wear the seven and six.
“There’s some youth and experience in there and it will be interesting to see how those two young halves go. That’s good for the Narromine community,” Toomey-White said.
“It’s going to be up to them to steer us around and I expect a really good day there.”
Toomey-White has played in clashes between group 11 and Group 10 in the past and he expects another "fierce battle” in this edition at Bathurst.
But he added his side will focus on itself with a training session set for Sunday afternoon at Narromine.
All four Group 11 sides will train at Narromine with league tag, under 18s, under 23s and seniors being played at Bathurst.
GROUP 11 SQUAD: 1 Brad Pickering (CYMS), 2 John Grey (CYMS), 3 Jyie Chapman (CYMS), 4 Sam Coe (Macquarie), 5 Aidan Ryan (Wellington), 6 Travis Lowe (Narromine), 7 Tyrone Walsh (Narromine), 8 Lincoln Kavanagh (CYMS), 9 Wes Middleton (Narromine), 10 Jarryn Powyer (CYMS), 11 Justin Toomey-White (Wellington), 12 Corey Cox (CYMS), 13 Jake Grace (Forbes), 14 Will Lousick (Wellington), 15 Jordan Pope (Parkes), 16 Colt Tairua (Macquarie), 17 Jack Medlyn (Parkes). Coach: Justin Toomey-White