The opportunity to represent his culture at the 2018 Tag World Cup proved to Jamie Archibald the decision to take his sporting career in a different direction was the right one.
Archibald admits he was sick of listening to the doubters that told him chasing a career in rugby league when he was 20 and playing in the Newcastle competition was not the thing to do.
"I didn't give up, it was just that I turned my attention to something else and found oztag," he said.
"As the body got a bit older and I lost that passion for league the next best thing to keep the ball in hand was to go and play either touch footy or oztag. I found oztag was more my cup of tea.
"You get over being told you're too small and you get sick of listening to the doubters."
He is now filling a role as coach with Port Macquarie Senior Oztag Association as a way to give back to the community.
While his rugby league career didn't work out the way he would have liked, Archibald is interested in passing on his knowledge.
"By giving back and helping with Nathan and Claire at Port oztag as well as coaching, that's important to me," he said.
"I want to help the young crew who are coming through that are super talented."
Archibald was meant to take a men's open team away to a tournament, but the change of dates meant it didn't proceed.
The time spent in camp with the team showed the environment hadn't changed a great deal since his playing days.
"Being back with them and the camaraderie they have compared to what I had growing up playing footy, it's no different," he said.
"You do fall into a bit of a brotherhood and the longer you go along with it the stronger that bond gets."
He said the World Cup experience was a memory that would last a lifetime.
"It was unbelievable; just the energy that came from playing with the brothers," he said.
"I've never experienced anything like the opening ceremony. Not just because of the Indigenous boys, but the New Zealand Maori, Cook Islands boys and all those smaller islands.
"Culture has always been a massive thing for me and to play for your culture as well as it being called Indigenous Australia is pretty special."
What else is happening in news, sport?
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: