Rotorua's finest rugby league players will get a chance to show off their talents in a match against the New Zealand Warriors U20s.
The WaiCoa Bay Stallions will curtain raise for a NRL pre-season match between the Warriors and Panthers, held at Hamilton's Waikato Stadium on February 16.
Players in the 34-man squad were selected from Waikato and Bay of Plenty, including eight players from Rotorua and Taupo.
"It's a great opportunity for these guys. We are taking it very seriously with trainings almost every day," assistant coach Moehewa Armstrongcrt said.
Armstrong, from Rotorua, said it was a good opportunity to play in front of selectors and coaches at the Warriors franchise.
"When you are playing at these big events they are always looking for someone out of the ordinary."
Pikiao Warriors centre Riki Collier said this was his first year representing WaiCoa Bays.
"I think this will be the biggest game I've played in."
Collier said the local players were training together once a week then travelling to Ngaruawahia on a Saturday to train with the rest of the team.
He said, on top of those, they were also having sessions with the team trainer Jason Sayers to work on strength and conditioning.
The other local players in the 34-man squad include Phil Rameka (Reporoa Razorbacks), Pirikawana Taiatini, Pryor Collier, Mikaere Tepania (Pikiao Warriors), Tai Tauiliili-Pelesasa (Ngongotaha Chiefs), Mac Carson and Matiu Love-Henry (Taupo Phoenix).
The 34-man squad will continue to train together right up to game week, when a 20-man team will be named to play in the match against the U20s.
The curtain raiser kicks off at 1.45pm on February 16, followed by the NRL sides at 4pm.