Ag College fullback Jock Ward has been cleared to take his place in the Southern Inland grand final on Saturday.
Ward underwent surgery after having his eye poked while trying to make a tackle in the preliminary final last week.
However he was given the tick of approval on Friday to take his place against Conolly Rugby Complex.
He can’t wait for the big day.
“I feel pretty lucky as when it happened I was pretty devastated not to be able to finish the game with the boys,” Ward said.
“Luckily they pulled through and I get a good crack at the grand final.”
The 21-year-old came off second best trying to stop Phantoms number eight Mesulame Navakalaya at Jarrah Oval.
Reeling in pain, Ward went straight to hospital and missed seeing the dramatic preliminary final.
He’s damaged the white of his eye and has stitches holding his eyelid together, but it could have been much worse.
“I was nearly going to have a big procedure on my eye but I was pretty lucky for where it was,” Ward said.
He’ll play with four stitches in his eye, but the wound is healing nicely and the slit in his sclera has closed.
Coach Will Mitchell didn’t want to stand in his way of playing in the biggest game of the year.
“We’re exploring a few options to make him more comfortable and think it about it less, but I don’t think he will miss out,” he said.
“He’s definitely earned his spot and has been a big part of the side for a couple of years.
“I would never take that away from him.
“It is his decision but I’m confident he’ll play.”
Ward and winger Will Whiteley both came off early in the win over Leeton, but both will start in the grand final.
The only change is the loss of hooker Pat Lemmich to a foot infection.
It’s a been a big season for Ward, who not only has blossomed at the back for Ag College but then backed up most weeks to play for Temora in the Group Nine competition.
He looked dangerous for Aggies before bring struck down with the eye issue.
Ag College have a big challenge as they look to become the only team to beat Waratahs this season, and are yet to get within 23 points of their Wagga rivals, but the young playing group is excited.
“We should all rally together pretty well under the circumstances and hopefully play our best footy,” Ward said.
“Everyone just has to turn up on the day and we should be right.”