For most of his playing career, Nathan Peats never thought he'd get the call up to Origin he so craved.
But from early in his career, good judges could tell the fiesty hooker had the goods to make it on the game's biggest stages.
That was never more evident than in a South Sydney Rabbitohs training session, some eight years ago when the 18-year-old hooker went head-to-head with a bully.
Gorden Tallis has revealed the moment an 89kg Peats wanted to kill 124kg Dave Taylor at a pre-season camp in Coffs Harbour.
According to the former Bunnies assistant coach, it was the moment that proved Peats had what it takes to be a star of the game.
"Nathan actually wanted to fight Dave Taylor. We were at Coffs Harbour in a training camp and Dave Taylor hit him off the ball," Tallis told The Daily Telegraph.
"’Peatsy’ got the shits, big time, he really got into it. So Peats then flies out of the line and hits Dave Taylor.
"Taylor went sideways and ended up on his arse. Peats stood over him like when Ali decked Liston."
"Dave Taylor was the big name back then. He used to sort of bully a lot of guys at training. Peats had steam coming out of his ears.
"I wondered how the kid was going to react. He wanted to kill Taylor. I thought: ‘Brilliant, how good’.
"I said at the time, ‘this kid has got it’. I thought he had some mettle. He was only small and was still trying to fight his way into first grade back then.
"He just doesn’t take a backward step. Taylor didn’t try it again."
Meanwhile, an emotional 2012 tweet from the tough Gold Coast Titans hooker has been unearthed, and it will pull at your heart strings.
The tweet, from Origin time five years ago reveals exactly how much this call-up means to Peats.
Even though I won't make it and I'm fine with that, I would love and give anything just to play one game of origin for NSW... #bleedblue4eva— Nathan Peats (@nathanpeats9) July 4, 2012
The now 26-year-old earned a last-minute call-up into Laurie Daley's Blues side due to the late omission of Peter Wallace due to a groin strain.
He was preferred to incumbent Robbie Farah due to his ability to provide early ball to halves Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney.