Mum's legacy drives Grant as he ditches beetroot juice

·2-min read
Darren England/AAP PHOTOS

Queensland hooker Harry Grant credits his PE teacher mum Margie for preparing him to face every challenge in his rugby league career.

The 25-year-old has been named to come off the bench in the State of Origin series opener in Adelaide on May 31.

The Melbourne rake has already played a key role in the 2020 and 2022 Origin series wins and won the World Cup with Australia last year.

Grant has credited the development pathway he undertook for preparing him for Origin footy.

The rake played with Melbourne feeder team Sunshine Coast in the Queensland Cup, spent a season at Wests Tigers on loan in 2020 during Cameron Smith's final year of NRL and was an understudy to Smith.

He was good enough to play regular NRL for the Storm before he did in 2021, but it was a good lesson in patience, mental toughness and commitment.

As a teenager he attended Farnborough State School near Yeppoon where Margie taught him more than just the curriculum.

"Mum was a PE teacher and really encouraged me to play any sport from a young age and have a strong mindset with that," Grant told AAP.

"She was very good at coaching my mental approach to things. Whether that be cross-country, track and field or footy it was all about doing it to the best of your ability and facing adversity.

"You don't want to come off the field feeling you could have given it a bit more or having left something in the tank.

"That's the mental approach I have had throughout my career and that probably came from mum, being my PE teacher. It has served me well over the years.

"I have been fortunate on my journey with the kind of people I am surrounded by and the coaches that I have had."

One of those was his schoolboy coach Terry Hansen at rugby league powerhouse St Brendan's College Yeppoon.

Hansen, who coached 18 players who later played NRL, had many unique methods for getting his champion players to perform and recover.

He carried a tin of turmeric powder with him to every game and once stuck the Indian spice up now-Newcastle utility Kurt Mann's nose when it was bloodied.

"Terry used to have us drink beetroot juice before the games. I am not sure about the science behind it," Grant grinned.

"I don't take it any more so I am guessing it didn't make me feel any different.

"Terry was an old-school coach who made sure you worked really hard for your teammate and played tough footy. He had great success. That is what Queensland is all about."