After being named as the Wests Tigers' lone representative for the NRL All Stars game on February 13th, playmaker Luke Brooks has spoken of his excitement as he gears up to play his first ever senior representative fixture.
Just 22 games into his NRL career, 20-year-old Brooks will add another impressive feat to his resume when he walks out onto CBus Super Stadium in a few weeks time after taking out the Dally M Rookie of the Year last season.
Brooks is looking to learn as much as he possibly can from his fellow All Stars teammates and coach Wayne Bennett.
"With the calibre of players in the team, it will be a good experience for me and I'm looking forward to it," Brooks told NRL.com.
"Being around all the experienced players will definitely help me a lot. I plan on learning a few things off them and I'm sure I'll learn a few things throughout the game as well.
"To play under Wayne Bennett will be pretty awesome. He's one of the best coaches to ever coach in the NRL, so it's definitely exciting for me and it's going to be a huge honour. I can't wait to spend a week with him and learn as much as I possibly can."
While the recognition is sure to motivate the Leichhardt Wanderers junior, the sense of occasion is certainly not lost on Brooks.
With New South Wales state opposition leader and proud Wiradjuri Aboriginal woman Linda Burney pointing out at the All Stars launch that it's been "seven years since Kevin Rudd made the apology to the stolen generations", Brooks acknowledged the enormity of what the All Stars game represents for Indigenous people.
"It's a huge game for the Indigenous people and I'm sure the Indigenous team will be really proud to represent their people," Brooks said.
"I think it's a brilliant way to get the message out [about closing the gap] and hopefully a lot of fans turn out for the big game."