THE Bribie Island Warrigals say they hope the Origin honours bestowed upon the club's prodigal son Matt Gillett will inspire its next generation of juniors.
Gillett was last night the toast of the island community after being named to make his Maroons debut in Origin I in Melbourne next week.
After a stellar opening to the NRL season, capped off by a two-try performance against Manly on Friday night, Gillett won the race for a Queensland bench spot in front of Broncos teammate Corey Parker and Sea Eagles halfback Daly Cherry-Evans.
He became Bribie Island's first Origin representative and the first Sunshine Coast Gympie Rugby League junior to play Origin since Adam Mogg and Chris Flannery in 2006.
Gillett played his junior rugby league at the Warrigals and Morayfield High, before going on to play for the Norths Devils in the Intrust Super Cup, where he came to the attention of the Broncos.
Warrigals stalwart and the club's under-18s manager Dale Rose said both the Bribie Island and Caboolture communities were very proud of Gillett and the example he was setting for the younger generation.
"Just to have a few of the boys playing for the Broncos at that level, hopefully he can inspire a few of the boys in the junior ranks to make that step up," Rose said.
Rose said he knew Gillett was going to be something special the first time he saw him.
This was despite the fact he was in under-6s and playing soccer at the time.
"Even back then when he was playing soccer in the juniors, he was a standout," Rose said.
"He was very competitive and loved to have the ball. It's the same as rugby league, he loves to have the ball in his hands. He's that sort of player, you can't put him out on the wing and tell him to do nothing. He loves to get involved."