Broncos superstar Tamika Upton will finally get the chance to represent her Indigenous culture after being included in an 18-player squad for the Harvey Norman All Stars on February 12.
Injuries have cruelled the chance for Upton to play in the pre-season event previously with the proud Baradha woman looking to help the Indigenous side reclaim the title after a 24-0 loss in 2021.
Upton is one of five debutantes in the Indigenous squad with Newcastle quartet Kirra Dibb, Tahlulah Tillett, Kyra Simon and Bree Chester also selected.
The 2022 fixture will mark the 10th women's All Stars match featuring an Indigenous side in a special milestone after their first game was played in 2011.
Since the rivalry between the Indigenous All Stars and Maori Ferns began in 2019, the Ferns hold a 2-1 win-loss record.
Upton told NRL.com in May last year of her desire to inspire the next generation of Indigenous talent as she embarks on a mammoth schedule in 2022.
The last time Upton represented an Indigenous side with a footy in her hand was in 2015, where she played touch football as a teenager alongside former NRL premiership-winner Scott Prince.
Match Highlights: Indigenous Women v Maori Women
The 24-year-old is among an abundance of All Stars representatives who have signed with NRLW clubs for the rescheduled 2021 competition starting on February 27.
The Maori Ferns squad features 11 players from last year's successful squad including key NRLW halves Zahara Temara and Raecene McGregor.
McGregor, who remains without an NRLW contract for the upcoming season, starred in the corresponding fixture last year with two tries to earn the Trisha Hina medal for player of the match.
Among the debutantes in the Maori Ferns squad includes Newcastle young gun Autumn-Rain Stephens Daly, rising Titans forward Tiana Raftstrand-Smith and Broncos veteran Lavinia Gould.
Parramatta centre Jocephy Daniels is also among those in line to make her All Stars debut after recently telling NRL.com how much her culture has shaped her life.
Daniels joins Eels teammates Botille Vette-Welsh, Nita Maynard and Kennedy Cherrington in the squad, who will be coached by Keith Hanley.