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Injured Hynes has no regret on All Stars appearances

Andrew Mathieson -

The spiritual connection to Nicho Hynes' ancestors heightens the times he must gather with his rugby league mob.

The Cronulla playmaker represented not only his Wiradjuri people on the field for the Indigenous All Stars, but he paid tribute to the Darkinyung on the land where Hynes grew up on their Country.

Connecting in that All Stars match against the Maori appears to matter more than immediately fostering positional connections with his clubmates in NRL trials.

Hynes was forced to sit out of the Sharks 10-6 trial win over Canterbury the Friday after.

After South Sydney counterpart Cody Walker withdrew to hand the 27-year-old all but the Indigenous five-eighth role, Hynes sacrificed injury concerns of a tender quad to play with a mob that only comes around once a year.

"It's a question you get asked every time you go into an All Stars game or Indigenous round and you always have the same answer," Hynes told

"You're just filled with pride and it means a helluva lot to me.

"I get to represent my mum most of all, I get to represent my people and the inspiring Indigenous kids sitting at home watching these games.

"They sit at home and want to be in the shoes of what we are, and want to play in this game like when I did when I was a kid.

"Now, I'm doing that, hopefully being a role model, we're setting the next generation up."

While Hynes is confident about being fit for Cronulla's opening fixture against the NZ Warriors, the side's talisman is wary that last season a similar grade of strain – but on his calf – cost him the first three games of the NRL season.

Hynes refuses to denigrate the All-Stars preseason showcase as unnecessary or trivial, as the groans grow louder in some club circles to move the match's date to October so it does not interfere with final preparations of a new NRL season.

But Hynes does not doubt that without the occasion and the cultural exchange, many Indigenous and Maori players would not be the same men of character they bring to their club's success.

"The values I try and live by through culture would definitely be respect and that you should always respect your Elders," he said.

"Those people that have gone before you with all the knowledge and the wisdom.

"They have been there and done that.

"The one I like to live by is loyalty, being loyal to your culture and the people that are around you when things get questioned.

"People like to pick a target on Indigenous people, so it's important that we stay loyal to our people, stand strong and believe in each other."

Hynes added that every All Stars clash, he undoubtedly builds a better connection to First Nations culture.

"Every time you go into camp, it's like you've never left each other," he said.

"This is my third camp on what we've build and we continue to build as Indigenous men in this rugby league space is very special.

"We've made a really good connection with the women and slowly we're trying to build on that and drip feed that back out into the Community."


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