Blues rookie with intent to kill Maroons

Matt Encarnacion
Prop enforcer Reagan Campbell-Gillard is ready to go have some fun

He's the former NSW police cadet who now intends 'killing' some Queenslanders.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard was barely 24 hours into his first State of Origin camp when he openly declared to the True Blues family that he wanted to "kill some people".

"Not kill but I just want to go out there and have some fun. I'm excited and probably still a little bit nervous at the moment," Campbell-Gillard clarified.

Like most of the record Blues rookies picked by another first-timer in coach Brad Fittler, Campbell-Gillard has come a long way to land his maiden Origin jumper.

His first job was at Sydney markets at a 15-year-old, when he would travel with his single mum so that he could earn enough money to not be a financial burden to the family.

"Once I got to that age that I could work, I'd work and save and buy things for myself without actually having mum's support there," he says.

"I'd have two weeks off for school holidays, I'd go in there and earn some cash and live off that."

He enjoyed his footy but humbly admits he was never a prodigious talent that turned scouts' heads progressing from high school all the way through to the junior ranks.

"I was absolutely shocking. Coming through, I was never that outstanding player. I was just a player that liked to play the game ... I just wasn't a standout," he says.

"Even school football - I was spewing about that because everyone strived to play school football like that and it never happened."

Unable to envision a path as a professional footballer, Campbell-Gillard worked on a plan B.

He used his networking at the Panthers to join the police, even riding along with local command to a handful of spots in his own neighbourhood of St Marys out in Sydney's west.

"You experience what they do and that was about it. Basically every call that they had to go to, you'd go with them. I obviously won't go into details but it was a lot of fun," he said.

But under the tutelage of former Penrith assistant and current Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan - who served in the police for 15 years, Campbell-Gillard slowly transformed into one of the NRL's best props.

He was in the under-20s team of the year when the Panthers won the NYC title in 2013.

He made his international debut for Fiji the year after, made his first grade debut the year after that, before getting the call-up for the Kangaroos' World Cup triumph last year.

Now he is on the verge of completing his rise by dishing out some punishment on the MCG.

"Once you get a taste of first grade, you just want more. Obviously you try to better yourself, work on your game, and I thought I did that over the past few years," he said.

"Now I'm just soaking in the moment."