Growing up in Queensland in the late 2000s was tough for rugby league fans.
With so many superstars representing the Maroons, it was difficult for many kids to pick a favourite.
Such was the case for Papua New Guinean-born and Cairns-raised Nene Macdonald, with the winger unable to split his allegiance for Matt Bowen and Greg Inglis.
Now 24 and playing for St George Illawarra, Macdonald is faced with the surreal experience of lining up against his teenage idol in a sudden-death NRL final.
While fully aware of what Inglis can produce, Macdonald is looking forward to the challenge ahead.
“I’ve always looked up to him, he’s been one of my idols growing up,” Macdonald said. “I loved watching him when I was growing up, especially playing for Queensland and me growing up in Cairns. He was one of my idols, him and Matt Bowen were two people I loved watching play.
“When Inglis is on, he’s tough to stop. It’ll be a good challenge though. I think at finals time everyone steps up, so it will be exciting to see what happens.”
Having had his first taste of finals football in enemy territory, Macdonald is looking forward to taking on the Rabbitohs in front of the St George Illawarra faithful at ANZ Stadium.
“It was a packed stadium full of Broncos fans, we just had a little patch of Dragons fans. It was good to see them all come up, and to get the win.
“It’s going to be a good turnout on Saturday. It’s going to be a crazy stadium with all the Souths and Dragons fans there, it’s going to be exciting.”