Uiti Baker lives at West Wallsend.
And next season Baker, who has been involved with several NRL systems including the Knights in 2016, will line up for Newcastle Rugby League club Central after spending the previous three campaigns at Western Suburbs.
But on Saturday week and halfway across the globe in Florida, the 27-year-old forward will play one of the most important games in his career with Cook Islands taking on USA for the last spot at the 2021 World Cup.
Baker recalls being in a similar qualification position prior to the last international tournament around four years ago and he doesn't want Cook Islands missing out again.
"I've spoken to a couple of the boys and they're pretty keen," Baker told the Newcastle Herald.
There's quite a few who know the feeling of missing out from last time and we want to make sure that doesn't happen again."Cook Islands international Uiti Baker
"There's quite a few who know the feeling of missing out from last time and we want to make sure that doesn't happen again.
"The USA aren't going to be a push over. We need to go there and do a job."
He was officially named in the current squad this week after travelling to New Zealand for a trial game, of sorts, late last month.
Baker reckons he's noticed a shift in country allegiances, particularly off the back of Tonga and their recent successes.
"Our forward pack is pretty much the same and our backline has changed a bit over the years, but guys want to represent Cook Islands," he said.
"It's the same as Tonga. It's good for the game."
Former Knights prop Sam Mataora is set to line up for Cooks Islands along with current Brisbane Broncos player Alex Glenn and Kayal Iro, the son of former NRL star Kevin and nephew of coach Tony.
Cook Islands, who avoided elimination against South Africa in June, have previously made World Cup appearances in 2000 and 2013.
Australian-based players meet in Sydney this weekend before flying across the Pacific Ocean to Jacksonville.
The US squad includes former South Newcastle prop Matt Shipway, who represented the Hawks at the most recent World Cup in 2017 and now plays for the Port Macquarie Sharks.
The Americans were denied automatic qualification by Jamaica.