Brisbane prop Josh McGuire is relishing the prospect of his first taste of representative action when the Prime Minister's XIII take on PNG in Port Moresby on September 23.
The 22-year-old is the latest top quality front-row product to roll off a Broncos conveyor belt that's produced the likes of Shane Webcke, Petero Civoniceva and Ben Hannant in recent years.
Earmarked as the long-term successor to Civoniceva in the Queensland side, McGuire gets the chance to impress Mal Meninga at close quarters with the Maroons coach taking charge of the team for the annual clash with Kumuls.
The side assembled for the first time in Sydney for medical examinations on Thursday and will depart next Friday, September 21 from camp in Cairns.
PNG is the only nation in the world where rugby league is the national sport, and McGuire is ready for a tough baptism from a side that pride themselves on their physicality.
"I've heard that it's a very tough field to play on and the Kumuls are a very tough side who love to come out firing when they face an Aussie side," McGuire told AAP.
"I've had a good year this year, and this trip is the cherry on the cake and I hope I don't let anyone down."
McGuire's progress has been all the more remarkable given he was in danger of losing not only his career, but the sight in his left eye after a stray finger from a teammate detached his retina last year.
The incident happened during a clash with Canterbury and he was forced to undergo a five-hour operation to repair the problem.
McGuire now wears a specially designed contact lens during games, but had to endure two huge scares this year when he was again caught by an errant finger during a game.
"There was thankfully no further repercussions," he said.
"It's as good as it's ever going to be, but I just have to get my head around it.
"The contact lens helps me see the ball with my left eye. It was a big shock to the system when it happened and very scary.
"But at the end of the day, it is just another sport injury and I just have to get on with it."
McGuire's Broncos teammate Andrew McCullough was ruled out of the match on Thursday due to a shoulder injury and has been replaced by Penrith hooker Kevin Kingston.