The Canberra Vikings are looking to breakthrough for their first National Rugby Championship title but coach Nick Scrivener hopes it's not their last chance to lift the shield.
Scrivener will lead the Vikings to their third grand final in five years when they meet the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.
It could their last opportunity to claim the championship title as rugby officials consider a potential third-tier shake up next year.
The competition has copped criticism about its format and the teams involved, but Scrivener has backed its place in the national and domestic rugby landscape.
The real benefit of the competition is having untested talent challenging themselves against contracted players and provides the cream of the John I Dent Cup crop a pathway to the Super Rugby stage.
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"I think it's just a great window of opportunity, especially for young players to come out of a domestic competition, wherever they are, to play at the next level for higher honours," Scrivener said.
"Whether it's local guys just getting another opportunity - whether that happens in the future, I've got no idea, but I think it's a great competition. It suits Canberra really well.
"Having one Super [Rugby] team and a really, really strong local competition, having the next level in between is great.
"The best players in the John I Dent Cup are being recognised and being able to get an opportunity, whether that be through injury, but that's why they're there and why I think the NRC is good.
"The local players have shown throughout the season that when they get an opportunity, they're as good as anyone."
The absence of capped Wallaby Rob Valetini and Toni Pulu has given Canberra Royals winger Lincoln Smith a chance to make his NRC debut from the bench on Saturday.
Scrivener has made just one change to his starting XV, with Mack Hansen replacing Pulu, who injured his hamstring during training, on the left-wing.
Hansen, Tom Banks and leading try-scorer Tom Wright make up a strong back-row which has scored seventeen tries this season. Hansen and Banks have scored five each, while Wright has scored seven.
The 21-year-old is one of several players who have been using the Vikings campaign as an opportunity to impress Brumbies selectors and boost their chances of Super Rugby game time.
"It's really going to help us coming into Super Rugby," Hansen said.
"It's good for the Brumbies that we all get to play together and understand how we play. Having cohesion in the team is so handy.
"It's been really helpful to play against better players week-in and week-out. Just seeing what you come up against when you play Sydney and Queensland teams, while the Western Force are a professional team on their own. It definitely makes you a better rugby player."
Grand final: Western Force v Canberra Vikings in Perth, Saturday 3pm (AEST)
Vikings: 1. Bo Abra 2. Lachlan Lonergan 3. Angus Wagner 4. Blake Enever (C) 5. Nick Frost 6. Pete Samu 7. Will Miller 8. Angus Allen 9. Ryan Lonergan 10. Noah Lolesio 11. Mack Hansen 12. Irae Simone 13. Len Ikitau 14. Tom Wright 15. Tom Banks. Reserves: 16. TP Luteru 17. Fred Kaihea 18. Tom Ross 19. Will Sankey 20. Luke Gersekowski 21. Joe Powell 22. Bayley Kuenzle 23. Lincoln Smith