sport news Queensland State of Origin stars reveal what they spent their first NRL ... trends now
Long before the NRL started paying rookies megabucks, the representative stars lining up for State of Origin tomorrow night had much more humble beginnings.
Each member of the Queensland squad has their own story on how they went from high school prodigies to NRL superstars.
Some of their responses are shocking, others hilarious, while others make perfect sense, starting with the five-eighth with the big personality Cameron Munster:
Cameron Munster is one of the highest-paid players in the NRL today but he came from humble beginnings, like many of his Queensland teammates
The Queensland five-eighth spent his first paycheque on a BMX bike from his workplace in Rockhampton
The Melbourne Storm star was recently at the centre of a megabucks tug-of-war between his current club and new franchise The Dolphins.
Back in the beginning, though, he was just a kid from Central Queensland with big dreams.
'It was a couple of thousand bucks,' he said on his first footy pay.
'My first job was at Rebel Sports in Rockhampton and I went and bought myself a BMX bike.'
Daly Cherry-Evans was one of the NRL's first million dollar players after signing a then-record eight year deal with the Manly Sea Eagles
In his early days, DCE had to be frugal which included getting teammates to cut his hair before games
Another one of the most highly paid players in the NRL who signed a whopping 10-year deal with Manly after backflipping on signing with the Gold Coast Titans.
Cherry-Evans has always been known for his meticulous approach to training and games, but back when he was young his first pay packet was blown on booze.
'The first time I ever got money for a football contract was in 2007. I got $500 from the Dragons. I was a development player. I was playing for Brothers in Queensland and I went down to play a game in Wollongong against a Dragons junior side,' he said.
'The Dragons must have liked me, because they gave me a $500 scholarship or whatever you want to call it. I got paid it at the end of the year and by then I was back in Brisbane playing for Wests Colts.
'I took that $500 out for our end-of-season trip to the Sunshine Coast. I spent it on booze, it was like schoolies.'
Patrick Carrigan is one of the younger squad members in the Maroons and still remembers how tough times were before the big bucks started rolling in
Carrigan, pictured with former Broncos teammate Lachlan Barr, had to work at the Rocklea markets to supplement his meagre footy pay
A player from humble beginnings who was not even paid enough to get by. Carrigan had to boost his scholarship funding by putting in the hard yakka at the Rocklea fruit and vegetable markets in Brissie as a young fella.
'I was 17 and signed it with Wayne Bennett at the Broncos. I used to get $200 a month. I never even saw the money,' he said.
'The boys would look forward to payday and I was getting about $210. I had a job at the Rocklea Markets doing slave labour. Everyone was going on about payday but I didn't even know what day of the month it was.'
Harry Grant exploded onto the NRL scene and made his first grade debut at a young age, also involved in a club swap with Wests Tigers
A young Harry Grant gets a selfie with Melbourne Storm legend Cooper Cronk before Grant became a household name himself
The benefit of hindsight is massive. Harry Grant burst onto the scene with the Melbourne Storm and wishes he spent the early cash on something important, but time with the boys was more important back in the day.
'My first contract was in under-20s with Melbourne. I wish I spent it on a house on the Sunny Coast as that's where I was living. That would have been a good investment. I probably spent it on a few beers,' he said.
Ben Hunt has been a high profile player for a long time and