Jaydn Su'A credits a catch-up over coffee with former Brisbane enforcer Ben Te'o for inspiring him to become a forward that provides genuine impact.
Su'A and fellow forward David Fifita met with former Maroons forward Te'o in the pre-season to draw on his knowledge and wisdom.
Both Brisbane forwards have aspirations to play for Queensland this year and Su'A said Te'o, now now a rugby union international with England, had timely advice.
"Ben had heard that we had been linked to him and the way he plays and it was pretty crazy to speak with someone who has played here, won a premiership and played Origin," Su'A told NRL.com
"He was really good for me, and Dave Fifita as well, and it was also really humbling to know that he had been in our shoes.
"Ben gave us a few tips on how to get to the next level and said there is no rush. He said to just keep playing well at club land and all the representative stuff will come in time. The key, he said, is to stay consistent and injury-free.
“I was born in New Zealand but I have played for Queensland since under 15s. I have a passion to pull on that Maroon jersey and hopefully I can do that one day."
The New Zealand-born Su’A grew up idolising Sonny Bill Williams but his style of play was likened last year by Sam Thaiday to that of Te'o.
Te’o joined the Rabbitohs in 2013 and won a premiership the following year. It was his performance off the bench in the 2014 preliminary final against the Roosters that was key in getting Souths to the decider.
"I was watching that game on Facebook the other day and Ben came off the bench and scored a try that sealed the game," Su'A said. "He put a few big tackles on and gave away a few penalties as well, but he inspired the boys.
"That is something I am trying to get into my game, to come on and make a big difference. I definitely look up to the way he plays.
"He’s an enforcer and a strong ball-carrier and that is what you need as a forward. He is someone I look to and want to play like. I guess he is a bit like Sonny Bill in those terms."
Su'A came off the bench in the 29-10 win over the Cowboys and provided real impact in running for 126 metres and making 23 tackles in the middle of the park instead of his usual edge forward position.
"The coach just said he wanted another big body in the middle and more defence in the middle with Lodgey [Matt Lodge] and Payne [Haas] out," Su'A said.
"The Dragons have come off two losses now so they will be raring to get their first win for the season. It is going to be another physical game, particularly in the middle. They’ve got a big forward pack, and so have we, so there will be some big bodies going at each other.
"It is definitely inspiring, and lifts the team and gives everyone more energy to see what Tevita [Pangai jnr] did last week. All the young forwards have made a challenge to themselves to keep up those efforts this week and the week after to try and be a bit more consistent."