Pulling on a New Zealand jersey for the first time should have been one of the proudest moments of Fabien Puletua-Kiri's rugby league career.
But instead, the Canberra Raiders under 20's and Junior Kiwis forward has been left heartbroken because his teammate Kalani Going isn't wearing one as well.
Going was in line to represent the Junior Kiwis against the Australian Junior Kangaroos in the first game of a triple-header at Canberra Stadium on Friday.
But Going was assaulted in an off-field incident and left with a broken jaw, denying him the opportunity to represent his country in the under 20's Anzac Test.
Going's family has a rich military history and he worked tirelessly to play on this stage to honour his family members that went to war.
Puletua-Kiri is one of three Raiders playing in the fixture, with Emre Guler and Jack Murchie coming off the bench for Australia.
All three have faith in Going to "bounce back" and relaunch his promising rugby league career - that's just the sort of character he is.
"It broke my heart to hear it, knowing that he can't play," Puletua-Kiri said.
"He was meant to make the side last year as well but just injury got him. It was a bit of shock when we found out that he couldn't play so it was pretty sad."
Going missed the bulk of the 2016 season with a serious ankle injury and Puletua-Kiri says the average player would have just given up - but Going is no ordinary footballer.
"He's our [Raiders under 20s] captain too so he's a pretty good leader. Not pretty good… he's probably the best," Puletua-Kiri said.
"To know that he's now injured and can't play with us for the next [little while], we know that we have to step up as leaders for the team."
Guler joined Canberra from the South Sydney Rabbitohs late in the 2016 season and says Going had a huge influence on helping him settle into life away from home.
Going had been through it all himself, leaving home in New Zealand to chase his NRL dream as a 15-year-old.
Now junior New South Wales representative Guler wants to use his Australian debut as a stepping stone to first grade.
"I've played a couple of games in Mounties so I'd like to think I'm in the mix," Guler said.
'I'd love to get a shot at having a debut this year. There's no shortcuts in rugby league, everyone knows that, so I'll keep working hard."
Murchie wants to follow suit and says an NRL debut is "always" in the back of his mind.
But he continues to tell himself that "plenty of blokes have been in your shoes before, and plenty of blokes haven't gone any further".
The Gerringong junior has spent the past few days telling Puletua-Kiri to be ready because once he puts on the Kiwi jersey, they won't be mates for 80 minutes.
"I won't be seeing faces, I'll be seeing black and white jerseys, I'll be getting into them," Murchie said.
Friday: Australia Kangaroos v New Zealand Kiwis at Canberra Stadium, 8pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.
Australian Jillaroos v New Zealand Kiwi Ferns at Canberra Stadium, 5:35pm.
Australian Junior Kangaroos v New Zealand Junior Kiwis at Canberra Stadium, 3:15pm.
Junior Kangaroos: 1. Corey Allan (Brisbane Broncos) 2. Tyronne Roberts-Davis (Gold Coast Titans) 3. Enari Tuala (North Queensland Cowboys) 4. Jesse Ramien (Cronulla Sharks) 5. Curtis Scott (Melbourne Storm) 6. Jai Field (St George Illawarra Dragons) 7. Brodie Croft (captain, Melbourne Storm) 8. Stefano Hala (Penrith Panthers) 9. Reece Robson (St George Illawarra Dragons) 10. Blake Lawrie (St George Illawarra Dragons) 11. Jaydn Su'A (Brisbane Broncos) 12. Sam Stone (Newcastle Knights) 13. Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs). Interchange: 14. Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters) 15. Jack Murchie (Canberra Raiders) 16. Ray Stone (Parramatta Eels) 17. Emre Guler (Canberra Raiders) 18. Gehamat Shibasaki (Brisbane Broncos)
Junior Kiwis squad: Briton Nikora (Cronulla Sharks), Chanel Harris-Tavita (New Zealand Warriors), Dane Aukafolau (Paramatta Eels), Emry Pere (North Queensland Cowboys), Erin Clark (New Zealand Warriors), Fabien Puletua-Kiri (Canberra Raiders), Greg Leleisiuao (Paramatta Eels), Isaiah Papali'I (New Zealand Warriors), Jarome Luai (Penrith Panthers), Kaleb Fuimaono (North Queensland Cowboys) Manase Fainu (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Moeaki Fotuaika (Gold Coast Titans), Patrick Herbert (St George Illawarra), Reimis Smith (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs) Sione Katoa (Cronulla Sharks), Siosifa Talakai (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Sitili Tupouniua (Sydney Roosters), Steven Marsters (debut) (St George Illawarra)