Joe Tapine takes a moment to think about the chance to represent the Ngai Tuhoe tribe.
"It's a different rush" for the 26-year-old Maori All Stars co-captain, whose appointment as a leader caps off a journey to connect with his culture that was ignited by his first taste of All Stars camp in 2019.
Tapine is a wrecking ball in the Canberra Raiders forward pack, harnessing explosive power with speed and aggression to bolster the NRL title contenders. But where do his Maori roots begin?
"It's kind of near, how do I explain it? Whakatane is probably the easiest because people know that because of Benji," Tapine said.
Come Saturday night Tapine and NRL veteran Benji Marshall will be teammates when the Maori All Stars face the Indigenous All Stars at North Queensland Stadium.
Tapine pulls on the jersey as co-captain alongside Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, an honour that left the 26-year-old Canberra Raiders wrecking ball with goosebumps.
Together the Maori All Stars will lay down a challenge to the Indigenous All Stars ahead of what has again become the showpiece of rugby league's pre-season schedule.
"It's a different buzz, when you do that haka for the Kiwis you get that pride. But when you do it for the Maoris, it's a different feeling," Tapine said.
"You do it to represent your whole culture, and it's a different feeling you get from inside, so I'm looking forward to that.
"It's a different rush. It's like a challenge. It's a respect thing as well, when they do it, it is respectful. When we do it, it's not coming from a harsh place, it's putting down respect to them."
Perhaps more important than the result is the chance for players to connect with who they are, because not all are so well versed in the intricacies of their heritage.
So team staff fill the week with activities. Players sing in hotel corridors and rehearse war dances. They tell stories about their past.
"We got a couple of texts with different songs we had to try to learn before camp which was pretty tough for me, I've got a terrible memory," Tapine said.
"They tell you to come in with where you come from, what tribe you're from, your river, mountain, all these different things. It makes you want to go and research it.
"Some of my family gave me a family tree from my grandmother's side which is really cool and I read through it, I didn't really understand much of it. Most of it is in Maori, so it is pretty hard. It's pretty cool just seeing where I come from.
"It gave me the interest to go and pursue where I've come from."