Tim Thompson was there when it began - ground zero for oztag in Tamworth.
Now, 24 years later, he has made his first national team - or, more accurately, his first No.1 national side (the played for the Australian Barbarians who beat Australia in the 40s men's final at the last World Cup).
The 50-year-old is one of four Tamworth players who made Aussie sides for the Big 4 Challenge, at the Central Coast in September.
The others are Tahlia Tiberi (20s women), Liz Thomas (masters women) and Garth Pennefather (55s men).
They will be joined by Geoff Sharpe (45s men coach) and Jeff Faint (45s men assistant coach).
At the annual Big 4 Challenge, which commenced in 2017, Australian teams will play Australian Indigenous, Lebanon and combined Pacific Islands teams.
It doesn't matter how old you are, to put on an Australian guernsey is always a privilege.Tim Thompson
The Australian teams were selected from the recent nationals.
Thompson said: "It doesn't matter how old you are, to put on an Australian guernsey is always a privilege."
He said there were a "core" group of Tamworth players who, like him, had played oztag since its beginning in the city. Pennefather is one of them.
The sport celebrates its 25th anniversary in Tamworth next year.
Thompson played with former NRL star Michael Buettner at the last World Cup, and they will line up together again at the Big 4.
Thompson said the involvement of NRL players in oztag had taken it to another level in regional areas.
"You learn so much playing with them, and then you come back and teach the kids about pressure, positivity and reaction," he said.
He said young country players now knew they could "match it with the big city people".
"They're not scared any more," he added.