By Joseph Price
Queenslander cheers will be heard loudly out of Noosa on Wednesday night with Moses Mbye set to make his State of Origin debut.
The 25-year-old West Tigers captain will join a small group of Sunshine Coast juniors who have played Origin as he lines up for the Maroons in the series opener at Suncorp Stadium.
Mbye’s wife Madeleine Mbye said the feeling was surreal but was certainly deserved following years of knocking on the door of selection.
“It feels like a dream to be honest,” Madeleine said.
“Every year we watch origin at home on the TV and it’s crazy to think that come Wednesday we will be there watching him.”
Fellow Noosa junior Jake Friend was set to make his Origin debut, before a torn bicep forced the Roosters captain to miss his chance.
But it paved the way for Mbye’s call up.
Noosa Pirates president Greg Christensen has been involved at the club since Mbye was a kid and said it was a great achievement for a young local player.
“There’s only been five Sunshine Coast boys that have played Origin so to get one is a massive achievement,” Christensen said.
“He never got selected for Sunny Coast sides when he was younger, someone just picked him up one day and he went down to the Bulldogs and it’s history now.”
Madeleine said she firmly believed Mbye’s hard work and perseverance was what caught the selectors’ attention and ultimately led to his Maroons call-up.
“He works so hard on and off the field, so it makes us all so happy because he really deserves this,” Madeleine said.
“It makes me very emotional because I see all his hard work and to get to this point in his career is just amazing.”
Mbye grew up in Noosa, playing all his junior footy for the Pirates.
Many of his friends, fans and former teammates will be cheering him on this Wednesday.
“We are going to open the clubhouse up and have the game on the TV,” Christensen said.
“The chat within our club has been massive, he’s got such big support around the area because he grew up here.”
With both Friend and Mbye being such respected players among the younger playing group, it is no surprise that they have inspired a lot of the junior players to play at this level.
Mbye will start off the bench for Queensland as they look to open their 2019 State of Origin campaign with a win at home.