Glenn Hall: I can't wait to play... Brisbane
With stints at the Bulldogs, Rabbitohs, Roosters and Sea Eagles before joining the Cowboys in 2011, few players in the NRL have more former teammates than North Queensland forward Glenn Hall.
Preparing his body for a 13th rigorous year in the NRL, Hall has plenty of big games to circle on the calendar but nominated the Queensland rivalry with the Broncos as the game that stands out above all others.
Approaching 100 games for the Cowboys early in the 2015 season, Hall's first clash with the Broncos whilst wearing North Queensland colours was in Round 1, 2011 when the Cowboys held off Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium to the tune of 16-14.
The return bout in Townsville later that year saw the Broncos record a convincing 34-16 victory and Hall told NRL.com that the atmosphere around town changes completely when the Brisbane boys fly in.
"I had a bit of success at Manly so playing the Manly boys is always good and the benchmark teams – your Souths and your Roosters always make you perform well – but nothing beats a Cowboys-Broncos game up here in North Queensland," Hall said.
"The crowd come from all over North Queensland to get here and it's always a massive atmosphere and a big game.
"The whole community around Townsville gets behind it, the media pumps it up a bit more and it is really special. You talk to fans after the game and they've driven from Mt Isa to get to the game so it is a big effort.
"I suppose the old rivalry, the old big brother, little brother tag still comes up every now and again but it's definitely a different feeling that week."
Hall spent three years at Manly between 2007-2009 and forged bonds that remain strong to this day, particularly with Sea Eagles hooker Matt Ballin. Hall is godfather to Ballin's young son Murphy and Ballin and his wife Shannan are the godparents to Hall's son Hendrix but the pair rarely get much time to catch up after a game.
"When Matty comes up here it's good if he can get to see the kids and vice versa when I go down there I get to see his little ones," said the 33-year-old.
"We try and Skype them and talk to them as much as we can but obviously when you're face to face it's a different story.
"I'm still also really good friends with Jamie Lyon, the [Sea Eagles] trainer Donny Singe, so I usually catch up with them after the game, depending if we've won or not."
Hall said he will treasure the Anzac Day commemorative jersey that the Cowboys will wear against the Knights in Round 8 but says the Marvel Super Hero round this year was a jersey that gave him a great thrill to wear.
"I'm a bit of a comic-book nerd and The Avengers is something I like so it was good to see 'Basher' (Ashton Sims) dressed up as Thor. Playing in that Thor jersey was pretty cool," said Hall.
"The Anzac Day jersey that we've got for next season looks real good too so I'm looking forward to playing in that."