The power of sport to unite was highlighted at Ken Chillingworth Oval on Saturday with Pirates and Quirindi banding together to support one of their own.
Last year Harrison Frear was involved in a car crash and suffered severe damage to his spine, which has left him with no feeling from the chest down.
The teenager loved his rugby and was a popular figure at both clubs having played his junior rugby at Pirates before linking up with Quirindi last season.
On Saturday the two clubs joined forces to raise money to assist him with his recovery.
Harrison was able to come up from Sydney, where he is undergoing rehabilitation, for the day and was overwhelmed by the support.
"It was great to see all the support, it really means a lot to me," Harrison said.
"It brightens your spirits."
"It is pretty life-changing what happened."
He was given the honour of delivering the match ball for the first grade game, which was a special moment, and enjoyed being back amongst it all.
"It was good to get back into the rugby community and see all the boys and be a part of it," he said.
"I love footy."
He is making good progress with his rehab and hopes to be able to come home to Tamworth in a few weeks time where he will continue the long road to recovery. There are still a lot of unknowns but Harrison is remaining positive and fighting hard.
"I'm just pushing as hard as I can," he said.
"They've written me off, said I'll never walk again but I'm determined to prove them wrong."
The day raised over $8,000.
"It was a really good day," Pirates president Tom Cutcliffe said.
"The people that turned out they really put their hands in their pockets."
Quirindi will likewise hold a fundraising day the corresponding clash in the second round.
"What Pirates and Quirindi have done for that boy it's very humbling," Harrison's father Phil said.
He added that the whole family is very appreciative of the support shown by both clubs and Harrison's friends.
Pirates for the record kicked off their premiership defence in style accounting for the Lions 56-14.