Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has praised Jack Wighton's transformation from looking at a potential jail stint to becoming a State of Origin winner in the space of 20 months.
Wighton avoided jail time when he faced court in late 2017 after pleading guilty to several charges, including assault, during an alcohol-fuelled attack in Canberra.
The Raiders star served a 10-game ban before returning to the NRL and has stayed out of trouble since the incident which almost ended his career.
Another significant chapter was added to the comeback story on Wednesday when Wighton helped NSW clinch a nailbiting Origin series decider.
Stuart said he was "really proud" of Wighton's return to the top and backed the five-eighth to next earn Australian representative honours.
"I've been involved with a lot of those different scenarios with individuals and you can only give so much advice because the individual has to do it themselves," Stuart said.
"You either listen or you don't and I'm really proud of where Jack has got to.
"I'm always singing his praises and I only do it for one reason, because I know how good he is.
"I often talk to young kids in regards to developing and maturing into football players at NRL level and I often say to them you play your football the way you live your life off the field and Jack is playing his football the way he's living his life off the field now.
"He's not just a representative player but a player that really contributes and has a big bearing on the result.
"I've probably expected Jack to be there (playing Origin) over the last couple of years. (Kangaroos) will be his next goal and I think it's very achievable."
Stuart confirmed Wighton and Queensland star Josh Papalii would play against St George Illawarra in Wollongong on Sunday.
He said the duo would play a critical role if the club snaps a 25-year premiership drought this season.
"In big games you have to have representative players," Stuart said.
"I said ever since I got here, for us to be a force in the competition we have to have successful representative players and guys with experience in big matches.
"We're starting to gradually grow there, having internationals here from England, and Josh and Jack only help our journey."