Forget Des Hasler and the clubs – Jack de Belin gave a huge tick to the City v Country concept after St George Illawarra’s loss to Melbourne on Sunday.
Mudgee will host the final City v Country game next weekend and de Belin credited bush footy for the opportunities he’s had.
“I played last year for Country and it was my first year,” de Belin told Triple M NRL.
“It was a great honour, and when you think about it, if it wasn’t for Country rugby league and the Cootamundra Bulldogs, I wouldn’t be here today. A big credit to them.
“Mary’s (Paul McGregor) all for that. He said he wouldn’t hold us back and that it’s a real honour for any rep jersey so a big credit to Mary for being able to let us play because I know a few coaches aren’t letting their players play.
“To be able to put on a jersey of a higher honour – whether it be country, city or one of the Polynesian nations, it’s a big honour and I suppose it’s a bit of recognition for playing good footy for your club.
“To take that away from players is a bit disappointing, but at the same time I can see where coaches are coming from because the club is the number one priority.”