In 2009 Aidan Guerra infuriated Craig Bellamy by walking out on Melbourne but his decision to join the Sydney Roosters has earned him an Origin call-up.
In many ways it’s a tale of two coaches which defines Aidan Guerra’s rugby league career so far.
In 2009, Guerra was frozen out by Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy after the Cairns product turned his back on the Storm for a fresh start with the Sydney Roosters.
Fast forward to this week and it was his new mentor, Roosters coach Trent Robinson, who got to deliver the news Guerra had been chosen in Queensland’s team for next week’s State of Origin opener.
Guerra’s decision to leave Melbourne despite their persistence with him as he battled to overcome two serious injuries clearly stung Bellamy, though Guerra claims there is no animosity between the pair.
Instead, the 26-year-old says his decision to leave the Storm and head north was just part of life as a professional footballer.
“Every player who is playing the game has had a tough time of their own,” Guerra said.
“Down there, it was a good learning curve for me. I learned off some of the boys in this team (Queensland) on what it takes.
“When I left, I took it with me and I’m still learning to this day.”
Since leaving the Storm Guerra has again overcome injury to establish himself in the Roosters, playing a leading role in the club’s charge to last year’s NRL premiership.
Representative honours followed as a member of the Italy team at last year’s World Cup, before Robinson’s phone call brought the realisation of a childhood dream with a spot in the Maroons team for the May 28 fixture at Suncorp Stadium.
“I’ve worked hard with Trent Robinson in the 18 months or so that he was at the club, to get the phone call and share it with him was pretty special,” he said.
“We got towelled up the night before so it could have been about anything, but once he got the greetings he was straight to the point.
“We’ve worked on a lot of things, trying to make myself more of a complete player and he knows what’s best to get me there.”