Former Cowra local Jeff Lynch has been selected in the Burleigh Bears' NRL State Championships team this Sunday, after initially being named as the team's 18th man.
Lynch will come in for fellow prop Oliver Percy, who has been unable to battle through conjunctivitis and prove his fitness for Sunday's match.
"I know where I sit with the team since I had my last injury four weeks ago," Lynch said over the phone from the Gold Coast before the selection change.
"Whatever happens, happens, but either way I've still been a massive part of the Bears' success this year and I'm proud of what I've done and hopefully what I can do on Sunday."
The Bears will be playing for state-versus-state honours against the Newtown Jets, after claiming the Queensland Cup against the Wynnum Manly Seagulls 28-10.
Lynch would be ordinarily be an automatic starter for his side, but an MCL injury sustained on the eve of finals, relegated Lynch to the sidelines as the 18th man, even though he had since recovered.
Nevertheless, Lynch was understanding of the initial reasons for his initial absence from the side.
"If I didn't have the injury... there'd be no question that I'd be out there," the former Cowra Magpie said.
"It's just that... the boys that have stepped into my role ended up winning the two semi-finals so... I understand where the coach [Jimmy Lenehan] is coming from.
"You can't change that team if they're winning semi-final games."
He also noted that while the club's depth has kept him sidelined from the Bears' second Queensland Cup in four seasons - Lynch played in the 2016 premiership - wouldn't have been possible without strong playing stocks to cover the team's injuries.
"I think we've used about 35 or 36 of our squad this year.. If it wasn't for the boys in reserve grade to come up and help us... then we definitely wouldn't be premiers."
While time will tell if the Bears can go one better than their 2016 State Championship loss to the Illawarra Cutters, Lynch is upbeat about his decision to move to the Gold Coast at the end of 2015.
"They're so welcoming and it's just like a big family club," he said.
"As long as Jimmy Lenehan's the coach up here I can't see myself moving anywhere else in the near future."
Sunday's match kicks off at 1.35pm at ANZ Stadium as a curtain-raiser to the men and women's NRL grand finals.