Indigenous All Stars women's coach Dean Widders has urged his side to seize the day, having been presented with a rare "platform" on the big stage.
Widders' Indigenous outfit will face the Maori All Stars women before the men square off at AAMI Park on Friday night and the former NRL forward urged his team to make the most of the national spotlight.
Seasoned campaigner: Indigenous All Stars women’s captain Bec Young.Credit:NRL Photos
"It's a celebration and a showcase of culture because I don't think you will have Aboriginal women being seen on this platform or on this level anywhere in the country these days," Widders said.
"Our women are the strength of our communities and we have 18 of them tomorrow that need to showcase that pride and that strength to the wider community who might not get to see them on this stage again.
"We have great responsibility in showcasing our culture and our strength and how strong these women are and the best way they can do it is tomorrow – to perform really well and to show that strength."
Widders' counterpart, Maori All Stars women's coach Rusty Matua, said the match was more than just a game of rugby league.
"For us, it's a chance to represent our people and that's so important and means so much to us," he said.
Indigenous captain Bec Young, who has more than 20 years of experience under her belt, labelled the match as the pinnacle of her career.
"To be able to take these young girls and lead them is the pinnacle of my sporting career," she said.
"For me to be able to represent my people, my family and go out there and lead the next generation and show other young girls that they can be up there as well… if they work hard, they make those sacrifices, they can be part of our great game.
"That's what we're looking for within this team and we want to take this game even further.
"I'm very proud to be a part of that."
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