New Kangaroos hooker Damien Cook has postponed his wedding to make his Test debut against New Zealand and he can enjoy the next two weeks in the knowledge that his partner is right on board with the decision.
The 27-year-old will marry Courtney Blaine at Randwick racecourse a fortnight after he rumbles with the Tongans in Auckland on October 20.
Cook's wedding was scheduled for October 19 but after starring for the NSW team in the State of Origin series, and in the wake of Cameron Smith's retirement from representative football, it became clear that he was on track to complete his stellar season in the green and gold.
"The wedding was a hard one to move. We weren't sure if I was going to make [the Australian side] or even if there was going to be a second game [against Tonga] at one stage," Cook said after joining Kangaroos camp in Brisbane.
"My partner didn't want to risk getting close to the wedding and cancelling it or putting it off. I let her make the decision because I didn't want to get ahead of myself at all, but she wanted to move it so we have moved it a couple of weeks later which allows me to enjoy my time here.
"She gave me a few jobs to get done for the wedding, and I made sure I got them done before I came into camp."
Damien Cook's 2018 season highlights
Cook has watched Smith wear the Australian number nine jersey for half his lifetime. He won't be trying to be Smith, but will aim to bring the game management skills of the Storm champion to the table.
"To be going after him, I wouldn't say is daunting. No-one can be compared to him. He's out on his own," Cook said of the former Kangaroos skipper.
"I'll be looking to go out and play my style of footy, which is probably a little bit different to his, and just try and do the best job possible for the team.
"I try and take other people's strengths and learn from them and one of his is game management and winning the ruck when it is slow. That is something I have tried to learn this year. I've got my own style of footy, but when the ruck is not fast you want to make sure you are putting the other players in the best position."
Cook conceded that when the season started, playing for Australia was not on his radar. Just tying down a regular starting spot with the Rabbitohs was the main item on his agenda.
Cook claims George Piggins Medal
Now that he has tasted representative football Cook said the challenge would be retaining the jerseys he has worked so hard to win.
"It is the same when it comes to Origin jerseys and with the Australian jersey as well," he said.
"You'll never know how many of these games you'll play so I am going to go out there and give it my best.
"That was pretty surreal to be part of the Origin series. I loved every moment of it and definitely will take the experience out of it and leading into next week's game I'll be a bit more prepared and ready for what is to come."
Ready too for his wedding at Randwick, a venue that has always been kind to him.
"That should be good. I've always had a good day when I am there," Cook grinned.