INJURY robbed Simone Smith of third appearance for the Indigenous All Stars last year.
But the proud Indigenous woman will return to the side following a two-year absence after being selected for the February 22 clash with the Maori All Stars on the Gold Coast.
Smith labelled the selection as being "up there with the highest of all" throughout a career that includes a Jillaroos jumper.
"When you play the All Stars game it's more than just a game; it's about representing your community and your mob and any of your past ancestors," she said.
"The reason it's such a great concept for us is that being Aboriginal is all about your identity, where you're from and who you are."
Smith cited the need to "be back home and on country" as the main reason she will then take the reins of the Port City Breakers ladies league tag side for the 2020 Group 3 season.
"For Aboriginal people when we say we want to be back on country, it means a need to be around family, friends and community.
"For me that makes me feel grounded."
The former Jillaroos representative takes over from Troy Roach who steered the side to the previous three grand finals.
Rather than be daunted by the prospect of taking over such a successful team, Smith welcomed the challenge.
"It's always a pressure coaching any sort of team whatever the competition you're in," Smith said.
"Given the job Troy's done has been massive, that's what makes me so excited about putting my hand up.
"A coach like Troy is such a great leader and mentor.
"Not only from a coaching perspective but as a player to have him around and throughout my sporting career has been massive."
Smith has had a taste of coaching - with the Breakers under-16 girls in the junior competition - so she won't be entering unchartered waters.
"Coaching the 16s was a really good start for my coaching career; I had a ball there," she said.
"I'm hoping that experience will help guide me in my season with the senior girls and hopefully some of those younger girls will look forward to coming and joining our side."
The 26-year-old, however, was open to the idea of additional information from her predecessor.
"I certainly will have Troy on speed dial whenever I need some extra tips, that's for sure," she said.
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