Alex McKinnon training with the  Knights this month.

Fitting honour: Alex McKinnon in his playing days. Photo: Darren Pateman

League officials are considering a proposal to award a medal named in honour of Alex McKinnon to the man of the match in the City-Country fixture.

McKinnon was a member of the Country side that defeated City 18-12 last year in his maiden representative appearance. However, the Newcastle forward's league career was cruelly cut short when he suffered a serious spinal injury against Melbourne in round three.

The McKinnon family have been great contributors to bush football, with an oval in Aberdeen named after Alex's father, Scott.

Country Rugby League officials are also planning to honour former chairman Wayne ''Jock'' Colley - who recently passed away at the age of 61 - with a minute's silence before the game, while players will wear black armbands.

They are also keen to honour McKinnon and the inaugural Alex McKinnon Medal could be struck for the outstanding performer at Apex Oval in Dubbo on May 4.

"Being an NRL player who put so much into the game at a young age, it would be appropriate," said CRL chief executive Terry Quinn.

"He's a good, young kid and it's a terrible thing that's happened to him. It's an unfortunate part of our game."

McKinnon recently proposed to his girlfriend Teigan Power and vowed to walk her down the aisle. The 22-year-old has already had some positive developments in his long recovery, with the Knights reporting he experienced movement in his left arm and improvement in his right arm.

While some players are likely to be rested from the annual clash, it is shaping as a genuine State of Origin trial for others. St George Illawarra's Josh Dugan is slightly in front of Brett Stewart in the battle for the Country No.1 jumper, with Newcastle's Akuila Uate and James McManus firming for wing spots. Jamal Idris and Jack Wighton are the likely centre pairing while Canberra forward Paul Vaughan looms as a bolter after his recent heroics against Melbourne. Dragons forward Jack Stockwell is another smokey under consideration.

James Maloney will be the five-eighth although there is still debate over whether his scrumbase partner will be Todd Carney or Jarrod Mullen. Gold Coast playmaker Albert Kelly is under consideration for a utility bench spot.

City could name a number of playmakers including Adam Reynolds, Josh Reynolds, John Sutton and Aidan Sezer, who are also vying for the other Blues' halves spot alongside Mitchell Pearce.

Country selectors are also agonising over the hooking role, with Michael Ennis, Mitch Rein and - if he's not rested - Kurt Gidley in the frame. Manly's Glenn Stewart is tipped to miss out although another veteran, Beau Scott, is a likely starter. Selectors are also keeping a close eye on Bulldogs forwards Josh Jackson and Dale Finucane, the latter yet to make his representative debut.

Country coach Trent Barrett and City counterpart Brad Fittler will liase with NSW coach Laurie Daley before selecting their teams to ensure all contenders have a chance to impress before Origin I at Suncorp Stadium.

Tickets to the game have been slashed to as low as $5 after only 4635 fans showed up at last year's clash at Coffs Harbour.