Bundaberg Region students are among those who have inspired Maroons players ahead of tonight's State of Origin clash after the team visited Bundaberg last week.
Xavier Coates, Harry Grant, Kurt Capewell and Nate Myles dropped into Bundaberg Special School, lighting up the faces of dozens of children.
The other players and staff visited Bundaberg Hospital, the Tom Quinn Community Centre, Impact Community Services and Carinbundi.
Capewell told QRL it was an honour to mix and mingle with the students at Bundaberg Special School.
The players chatted to students, threw the ball around, signed shirts and took photos with the very excited group.
“It was awesome… really good to get in and see the kids,” Capewell said.
“They obviously love Origin. To be able to come into Bundaberg Special School and put a smile on everyone's face was awesome.
“These are the people we're playing for, so to be able to come out and see them all, and put a smile on their faces, makes you feel really good.”
Bundaberg Special School principal Michael Brett said the whole experience was an unforgettable one for the students and they would be talking about it for weeks to come.
“It's just a wonderful opportunity for our students to see the guys in action… they're such fans right across the school,” Brett said.
“Everyone here is either a Brisbane Broncos supporter or a North Queensland Cowboys supporter, but everybody is a Maroons supporter.
“We just can't wait… it'll be a big deal in the school next week and the kids will remember this for a very long time. We really appreciate it.”
Brett said “the boys were sensational”.
“They're just great… so full of life and fun,” Brett said.
“They really related to our children so well… it's like they were born to do it. So easy and casual with the kids.”
–Jorja Brinums, QRL lead content producer