From the bush to the big time - former Parkes junior Billy Burns will make his NRL debut this weekend when the Penrith Panthers take on the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary named the 20-year-old back-rower in the sqaud for the Round 24 game after Isaah Yeo was ruled out due to a shoulder injury.
He was named in the Panthers match day squad for the August 16 clash against the Brisbane Broncos - which saw the Penrith side go down 24-12 - but he was omitted an hour before kick-off.
Burns will make his NRL debut as Panther No 592, and according to the Parkes Spacemen Rugby League Club, he is the first Spacemen Junior to do so since Dave Elvy debuted as Panther No 401 more than a decade ago.
He will become the ninth player to make his debut for Penrith this year, the most of any club in the NRL.
The Panthers are desperate for an upset win over the Roosters to keep their finals hopes alive.
Burns has progressed through the grades at Panthers since joining the club's premiership-winning SG Ball side in 2016.
He made his first appearance with the Under 20s Penrith Panthers in June 2016 and finished 2018 on a high after he was selected in the NSW Under-20 squad that took on Queensland in the 2018 Holden State of Origin III curtain-raiser last July.
Burns enjoyed an impressive junior career in Parkes with numerous representative honours including Group XI, Western Rams, and NSW Country.
He was named Parkes Junior Sportsperson of the Year in both 2014 and 2015 after excellent seasons in football.
Burns was a member of the Red Bend Catholic College side who finished second in NSW and broke into the Parkes Spacemen first grade team when he was just 16.