The Bone family's longstanding Christmas get-together in Nelson Bay will include an attractive fresh addition this year.
Accompanying Mackay Cutter Kobe Bone to the seaside gathering will be the Tamworth-raised footballer's new partner, psychology student Jordan Watson.
The good-looking twentysomethings met via Instagram, and have been together for three months.
Rugby league fan Watson, 23, hails from Mackay but had resided in Sydney for three years until fairly recently before returning to her hometown to live, Bone said.
"She ended up coming home for a weekend, and I ended up meeting her [on a date]," the 21-year-old said. "And yeah, we've just gone from there."
The Nelson Bay trip will be Watson's first chance to meet her boyfriend's family. He grew up on the Central Coast before moving to Tamworth at age 12.
According to Watson's Facebook page, she is doing a bachelor of science degree (honours) in psychology at Swinburne University of Technology Sydney.
She is completing it online, having previously studied psychological science at Central Queensland University.
As Bone undergoes a gruelling pre-season ahead of the 2024 Hostplus Cup, he was in a buoyant mood while speaking to the Leader over the phone.
With a breakthrough debut season at the Cutters in the bag, and a new relationship under way, he has blossomed since arriving in Mackay in November last year in search of an NRL career.
"Definitely more confident in my footballing ability," the former North Sydney Bears junior said following his debut Hostplus Cup campaign. "And more confident with myself going forward."
"Hopefully I can play a full year of [Hostplus] Cup," he said of 2024, "and then progress further."
Bone has signed a new one-year deal with the Cutters, a Cowboys feeder club who finished second last in 2023 after recording only three wins.
The 2022 North Tamworth premiership-winner started last season in the Cutters' colts side before graduating to first grade and playing nine games.
Lauded for his defence, he was named in the competition's team of the week after a round 15 loss to the Central Queensland Capras.