After a taste of the stirring occasion of an Anzac Day match back in 2015 Melbourne's Nicho Hynes never thought he would have to wait so long for the chance to honour his war veteran uncle.
Hynes will wear the No.1 jersey in the Storm's annual clash with the Warriors at AAMI Park on Sunday night, with regular fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen out with a shoulder injury.
After a visit to Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance, Hynes says he's looking to make his uncle, Phil Wilson, who served as a 16-year-old in East Timor, proud.
"He's pretty pumped - he's a very proud Melbourne supporter," Hynes said on Wednesday.
"He always supports me and it will be even more special for him this weekend and I dare say he will be watching with pride."
The talented utility played with Manly against Melbourne in an under 20s curtain-raiser six years ago and said featuring in the main game was something he'd always hoped to do.
"Ever since I was young I looked forward to the Anzac games, whether it was the Roosters and Dragons or Storm and Warriors," he said.
"After I played here in 2015 it was really something I wanted to be involved in."
An injury saw Hynes' promising Sea Eagles career derail and he eventually landed at the Storm, where he has proved a valuable asset.
A starting role on Sunday will give the off-contract Hynes more time to shine.
While he remains close to his family in Sydney, the 24-year-old said he wouldn't necessarily return home.
"I guess it's an opportunity for me, but I don't know what's going to happen with my contract situation," Hynes said.
"I will be putting my best foot forward to show clubs that I can start at fullback or five-eighth.
"But Melbourne have made me the player I am and I'm grateful for that opportunity but am keeping my options open."
Australian Associated Press