Carney v Lyon: The former NRL stars going bush
This year, Frank Paul Nu'uausala helped the Sydney Roosters to an NRL premiership.
Next year, he will play for a few hundred bucks.
And if his team loses, nothing.
A hulking Tricolours favourite boasting two title seasons, 15 Tests for New Zealand and 233 matches across the NRL and English Super League, Nu'uausala is now among a host of big names set to play bush footy in 2019.
Set to join battling, bush club the Singleton Greyhounds - "the first NRL player we've ever signed," says club president Jye Bayley - the 31-year-old is part of a stellar list which includes Jamie Lyon (Ballina), Todd Carney (Byron Bay), Nathan Fien (Collegians), Kade Snowden (Central Newcastle), Lincoln Withers (Woden) and Danny Wicks (Grafton).
Elsewhere, Mudgee have signed Jack Littlejohn from Salford Red Devils, while others taking up new captain-coaching roles include Josh Starling (Oberon) Luke Branighan (Bathurst St Pat's) and Justin Carney, who is headed home from Hull Kingston Rovers to join Nyngan Tigers.
Country Rugby League officials have revealed that Timana Tahu, Joel Monaghan and Daniel Holdsworth could also feature.
While Nu'uausala played most of 2018 with Roosters feeder club Wyong, the 31-year-old was twice called into the top grade for the side that eventually upset Melbourne Storm.
On Grand Final night, the prop then watched on from the ANZ Stadium grandstand as his club upset Melbourne - having been part of the retiring players presentation - but did not join his teammates on field afterwards.
"Because I knew what they were feeling," says the bookend who was a key part of the club's 2013 Grand Final team. "And I was happy to watch them enjoying that."
Yet despite again playing his part in a title run, Nu'uausala will next year run around in the small, Group 21 competition for only match payments - which across the league is roughly $150-$200 a win, nothing a loss - after the Singleton club helped source him a mining job.
And as for what this tattooed Kiwi enforcer knew about the small, Hunter town?
"Ah, nothing," he laughs. "I had to look it up on Google.
"I was moving with my family to Newcastle and thought I'd be retiring from footy.
"But there was an opportunity to get a start in the mines and I'm extremely grateful that a lot of people out here, including my new employers MRM, have agreed to take a punt on me … it means I can now give something back.
"Because this town, while really passionate about footy, it's fighting hard to survive.
"So this is my chance to help out and mentor some of the younger players, just pass on some knowledge."
Elsewhere, a random choice of house painter has resulted in Manly Sea Eagles great Lyon signing on with Ballina Seagulls.
Explains club president Al Perry: "I'm a painter by trade and when Jamie moved up here with his family, he got me to do some work on his house.
"So while we were talking one day I just said 'look, if you ever decide to do something give me a call'. Apparently he got the itch to have a run around again … and here we are."
Better, the Seagulls have an early season home game pencilled in against Byron Bay, a club boasting its own new captain-coach in Carney.
"So we're expecting a sell out," Perry says. "For our young players, to learn from somebody like Jamie, this is a once in a lifetime experience."