THE Wilton family of Narooma are packing the car and heading to Sydney to watch former Narooma Devils star Teig Wilton make his NRL debut this weekend.
"We'll definitely be there with bells on," beamed proud dad Glenn Wilton on Wednesday.
"It hasn't been easy for him living away from home - he's been living up there since 17 - but he's definitely done the work and it's finally paying off."
The Narooma junior has been with the Sharks for a little over three years and last year was handed a contract extension that will see him stay with the Shire club until the end of 2023.
"He played in the under 18s for them and last year he captained the under 20s NSW side - and he's still only 20 so he's still a pup," Glenn said.
Glenn said after playing for Country in the under 16s there were a few clubs eyeing off the Group 16 second rower, but Teig was eager to be part of the Cronulla-Sutherland club.
"His grandma lives nearby so that was a factor to keep an eye on him," Glenn shares with a laugh.
Teig will don the number 16 on the bench for the Sharks and lines up with Cooma export Jack Williams who has returned to the roster after missing a spot last week.
A Sharks spokesman said the club were playing their hand close to their chest and weren't giving much away ahead of the weekend.
However at last year's contract extension, Sharks coach John Morris sang his praises as a future prospect at the club.
"He's a super kid, good character, well respected by his peers, trains really hard and lives by the values of the club," Morris said.
"He's a highly rated rookie, he's come through our system, SG Ball, he won a Jersey Flegg premiership, captained NSW 20's last year [and] played for the Jets."
With two contract extensions already signed, Teig has also signalled his loyalty and ambition to be part of the Sharks moving forward.
"I want to learn as much as I can and play my best football, but I'd definitely like to make my NRL debut and pull on that Sharks jersey," Wilton said on the club's website at the end of 2019.
"It was a massive move for me to come up here but the club has given me so much, especially coming through the grades.
"When I was coming off contract I really just wanted to stay at Cronulla. I love all the staff, the players, the people.
"It's an honour to play for the Sharks."
Teig and Williams representing the Sharks as a Group 16 duo will meet another one of their own when Cronulla face up against the Dragons this weekend including Pambula export Euan Aitken.
Glenn said he had caught up with his son earlier in the week, who was looking forward to the opportunity.
"He's got a few nerves, but very excited."