When veteran Queensland forward Nate Myles speaks, people listen – and then maybe throw some punches.
Sledging is still considered fun for Myles despite it leading to fighting being banned in State of Origin.
But these days Myles is more interested in his choice words firing up a new generation of Queensland forwards.
Myles will go down in rugby league folklore as the man who got hit by NSW forward Paul Gallen in 2013, leaving the Origin series with a black eye.
No one may ever know what Myles said to Gallen in game one two years ago but the fallout is still being felt.
Myles had a chip, Gallen beat him up and the NRL effectively outlawed fighting in Origin amid a public backlash.
Still, Myles admitted back chat was one of his favourite pastimes in Origin ahead of Wednesday night’s series opener in Sydney.
“It’s the nature of the game now, there is more talk than physicality,” he said.
“(Mind you) the last time I shot my mouth off I got chinned and everyone isn’t allowed to punch now.
“(But) it’s the way it’s gone, it wouldn’t be an Origin without some sledging.”
Cynics may also argue Origin also wouldn’t be the same without biffo.
But Myles reckoned he was more focused on his words influencing the next batch of Queensland forwards.
Just like Maroons great Petero Civoniceva did when he took a young Myles under his wing in his first Queensland camp in 2006.
Myles said a heart-to-heart with front-row partner Matt Scott in Maroons camp this week made them realise they were no spring chickens – and that it was time they helped Queensland’s “generation next” hatch.
Maroons rookie Josh McGuire and 18th man Dylan Napa have been the big winners, as a result.
“We have spoken lately … just about our positions in the team,” 26 Origin game veteran Myles said of Scott.
“We have gradually drifted towards the positions where Petero and those guys were when we were first introduced.
“That’s nearly 10 years ago now.
“We have to make sure guys like Dylan Napa and Josh McGuire and those other young guys coming in … that we share the knowledge we have.
“(Even if it turns out to be) half as good as Petero, that they think about it play-by-play.
“Straight off the bat that’s what Petero said to me and Matty when we first came in.”
He can talk the talk but Myles hoped he could also inspire the Maroons’ young forwards to walk the walk, just as Civoniceva did nine years ago.
Asked what was the best advice Civoniceva gave him, Myles said: “Just allowing yourself to take things in.
“You have to do things your way – walk your own path.”