For more than six years Jack Bird has pondered whether he would ever get the chance to experience an Anzac Day clash between the Dragons and the Roosters.
As a local junior coming through St George Illawarra's under-20s system, Bird watched the last post take place before some of the greatest clashes unfolded in front of packed venues to commemorate the day.
Bird's defection to the Sharks in 2015 cancelled out any hope the Berkeley Eagles junior had of running out in the famous Red V kit on Anzac Day to take on the Roosters – until now.
"You sit back and watch it on TV, see the big crowds and the history of it, and you kick yourself," Bird told NRL.com.
"It's a game I've always wanted to play in. I'm really looking forward to playing and for those who fought for our country.
"To play in the NRL is pretty special but nothing compared to those who served and sacrificed so much for others. To pay our respects with an event like this it makes it a little bit special than just a normal NRL game."
Lest we forget: Roosters and Dragons legends remember Anzac Day
Bird's fondest memories included an in-form Dragons winning four Anzac Day clashes in a row and Brett Morris among those who finished out his Dragons career on to before moving to the Bulldogs.
With Bird also off to the Sharks, the pair have only ever played alongside each other at the representative level.
On Sunday, they'll be up against each other on the same edge in a match-up Bird believes could dictate the match with Joey Manu, Sam Walker and James Tedesco in the firing line.
"B-Moz is scoring tries from anywhere and Joey Manu has been one of the best centres in the comp over the past two years," Bird said.
"Sam is a young kid but in saying that from what I've seen, he's got a good head on his shoulders and sometimes when you don't know too much about someone is where they can be dangerous.
"We all know what Teddy can do so we have to keep an eye out for him and shut him down … shut them all down really. Their left edge is just as good.
"They've got a few players out but are still a very experienced squad."
For Bird, the feeling of stringing together consecutive games is a confidence booster after back-to-back ACL injuries within 18 months threatened to derail his career.
Despite a one-match ban in round four, Bird has built a solid foundation in the first quarter of the competition.
"I've got no dramas with it, I've played five games now and it's pulled up well, it doesn't hurt after games," the former Bronco said.
"I am finding my feet again and adjusting to the pace of the game. There's still points I can improve with my knee but playing on it, it's not bothering me or in my mind, which is good."
Dufty feeds a charging Bird
The Dragons' solid form to start the season has also given Bird a reason to smile with the former NSW representative relishing the opportunity to return to familiar surroundings in Wollongong.
"Life's good, I get to see my family and friends. Mum's happy I'm living back here at the moment and I get to see my dad every day," Bird said.
"A lot of people were writing us off but when I went back there I looked at the squad and thought it was a young team that can do some damage.
"Since then we've got Andrew McCullough, who is playing some great footy, Benny Hunt is back to his best and Moose (Josh McGuire) just arrived so there are some older heads there now.
"I always had the confidence in this team and the big thing is we're playing as a team."