Mbye thanks Kimmorley for helping him along
RUGBY LEAGUE: If Moses Mbye inspires a Queensland victory in next week's State of Origin opener, NSW will only have one of their own to blame.
At 25, the Noosa product will complete an unorthodox journey from his Sunshine Coast home to a Maroons jersey when he makes his Origin debut off the bench on June 5.
Wests Tigers captain Mbye admitted he had a lot of people to thank for his proud moment but reckoned former Blues halfback Brett Kimmorley may just be on top of that list.
Back in 2011, a 17-year-old Mbye was running around for Noosa Pirates first grade before attending an ID camp hosted by NRL outfit Canterbury.
Kimmorley - who played 10 games over 10 years for NSW - was Bulldogs halves coach and liked what he saw from the livewire.
"He (Kimmorley) saw something in me that he liked and I went down to the Dogs for 12 months and played SG Ball (under 18s) and ended up spending seven years there,” Mbye said.
"So I do have a lot to thank him for but there are so many in my journey - to get to this spot, a lot of people have played a part.”
Thanks to Kimmorley's keen eye, Mbye was signed by the Bulldogs before eventually launching a five-season, 94-game stint at Belmore.
Mbye earned state recognition too, playing under-20s before being asked to attend their Emerging Origin camps.
Yet Mbye's quest to seal Origin selection was far from over. He signed a four-year deal with the Tigers, linking with the joint venture on a mid-season release in 2018.
Based in Sydney Mbye seemed even further away from the Queensland team but the utility never gave up hope.
"Not really. There are always opportunities in this game with injury and suspensions, but they don't come up often so you have to be ready to take them,” he said.
In the end injuries and the retirement of Billy Slater and Greg Inglis opened the Origin door.