Despite only living in Brisbane the last two years, Lachlan Cooper is chomping at the bit to represent his new abode.
Hailing from Queanbeyan, the 23-year-old made the move from the Canberra region to Souths Logan to undertake an opportunity in the Intrust Super Cup in mid-2019.
After dabbling in the statewide competition again this season, the five-eighth is back in local league colours and ready to make a difference at this weekend's XXXX League Championship decider.
Brisbane Poinsettias v Toowoomba Clydesdales
"It was good to get a few Cup games this year but coming back is really really good," the former Raiders NYC playmaker said.
"I was hoping to play this all year anyway so it’s sort of where I want to be and I really can’t wait to represent Brisbane.
"It’s my new home and I really enjoy it up here."
After defeating Gold Coast and Ipswich to win this year's South East Queensland Chairman's Challenge, a number of forced changes have had to be made to the 17 who lined up in May due to injury or selection in Intrust Super Cup.
"We’ve had a couple of training sessions but [the team] is a little different to the Chairman's Challenge," Cooper said.
"We have eight new players with some of the boys getting the opportunity to go up to Cup and injuries, but it’s been good with a few good sessions under the belt, so we’re raring to go."
Watching Toowoomba defeat Mackay in the final minutes of last month's semi-final, Cooper is expecting a similar matchup with the Clydesdales strong across the park.
"They have a really big forward pack that are very powerful and they’ve got plenty of speed on their edges, so we expect a very fast game," the five-eighth said.
"But we’re definitely up for it… it should be a very good game.
"If we just hold onto the ball and complete highly we should do alright.
"We’ve got a lot of star players across the whole field who can score points at any time, so we should be alright hopefully."
Playing under Wayne Barnett at both club and region level, the Normanby Hounds half is extremely grateful of the wealth of knowledge the former Central Comets and Mackay local league head coach brings, especially at the next level.
'You get to see a lot of talent' - Barnett
"The experience Wayne has in rugby league is awesome," Cooper said.
"Having him as the head coach… he knows the game and he's been really good at this level with rep teams and he knows everyone there can play footy and lets us play the way we want to play. He just adds his little magic touch at the end.
"It’s really really good the way he coaches, I really enjoy it."
With the chance to be crowned state champions and bragging rights of being the best local league in Queensland on the line, Cooper said his entire side is excited to pull on the Poinsettias jersey in the inaugural contest.
"We're all really excited to play at this opportunity and everyone is chomping at the bit to get out there and play some good footy," Cooper said.