Canberra trainer Ricky Stuart said that the performance of Jack Wighton as part of the winning New South Wales side this year is a testament to the person he got off the field.
Much has been written about the fall of the 26-year-old from grace and the subsequent turnaround to make his debut State of Origin in game one in Brisbane.
"I always sing Jack & # 39; s praise for knowing how good he is," Stuart said.
"I often talk to young children when it comes to developing and maturing football players at an NRL level and I say to them" you play football the way you live your life outside the field ", and Jack does that.
"I have been involved in many different scenarios and individuals and I can only give so much advice, the individual has to do it.
"They listen or not, but I am really proud of where Jack is coming from the point of view of a club, because he is not just a representative, but someone who really contributes to the result."
Stuart said that the success of Wighton this year, in addition to Nick Cotric who made his Origin debut, the continued excellence of Josh Papalii and the fast-growing international talent from England, will ensure a continued culture among the Raiders.
"I think it helps us as a team to be successful in winning matches. I believe you should have the experience in big games, representative players," he said.
"To be a force in the competition, we have to have players successfully in big games and we are starting to grow in that area.
"Internationals from England and Josh and Jack, they are helping our journey."
Speaking prior to their clash with the Dragons on Sunday at the WIN Stadium, Stuart said the growing maturity in the squad seemed to be coming through in the wake of their last-start loss to Parramatta.
Instead of having to indicate what went wrong after giving 16-0 a lead, Stuart said the seniors took it upon themselves to stand up for their mistakes.
He said that this attitude will come in handy when they are looking for the consistency that characterized their first six weeks of the season.
"The biggest part of our growth this year is the maturing of the players," Stuart said.
"They didn't need to hear from me too much, they were hard enough for themselves and for me the growth of our senior players is growing on our younger players coming through."
Cotric is expected to play in the run-on team and he seems to get his combination with John Bateman and Jordan Rapana on the right.
"He will have a final test today, but I am confident, I am sure he will play," Stuart said.
"Having another player of his quality who comes back from an injury is always a bonus."