There is “something special” about Queensland Under 20s winger Treymain Spry, which is why his old Queensland Under 18s training shirt just went to Argentina and back in the luggage of his former schoolboy coach.
Last week, Spry’s Ipswich State High School coach Lee Addison, now the Poland national coach, went to Argentina to hold seminars and run rugby league clinics to put structures in place for the South American country’s league program moving forward.
"When I came to Argentina, I packed Treymain's Queensland Under 18 polo shirt with me. I was giving out gear to the Argentinians as gifts, but I backtracked when I saw Treymain’s Queensland shirt and put it back in my bag," Addison said from Argentina before boarding a plane back to Australia.
"I kept the shirt because he gave it to me. He was my first Queensland Under 18 player while still at the school.
"Treymain is a special player. He is a runner like Greg Inglis and has all the gifts. So long as he is doing the extras and working hard in the gym, I predict he will play NRL for the Titans very soon."
Spry, also a centre, will play wing for the Queensland Under 20 team at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.
He had a sparkle in his eye when told of the Argentina story while in camp in Brisbane.
Spry, who has played for Tweed Seagulls in the Intrust Super Cup this year, has previously represented Queensland as an Under 18 player with fellow Ipswich State High students Kea Pere and Ronald Mulitalo who will join him on the field on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old was happy that Addison didn’t give his shirt away too.
"I am glad he kept it," Spry grinned. "Lee asked for my Queensland shirt, so I gave it to him. I even see him wearing it sometimes in some of the photos that he has put up.
"Lee was a special coach. He always got the best out of me at Ipswich, and all the players that he coached."
There is always talk about "the next GI" when a young Indigenous player of class with speed, strength and rare gifts comes on the scene. The comparisons have been made on more than one occasion with Spry.
He certainly has a similar physique to Greg Inglis with his wiry, athletic legs and strong upper body. The way he plays is also similar. Spry is aware of the talk and in awe of Inglis.
"I always looked up to him. He was one of my idols, just with the way Greg played and what he did," Spry said.
"It is a pretty cool thing for people to say what they do but I just have to keep training hard."
Spry was with the Sydney Roosters for a short time before joining the Titans, but found it tough being away from home.
"I was living at Maroubra in the Roosters stay home and they looked after us really well," Spry said.
"I got a bit homesick down there and missed my mum [Kerri]. She has done everything to get me here and made a lot of sacrifices.
“She lives back in Ipswich and that is where I am staying now with my family.
"I just thought there was a good opportunity for me at the Titans. It was a pretty cool thing to do an NRL pre-season there.
“I would like to play NRL, but I am just focussed on playing good for Tweed and my opportunity will come."
Spry was so impressive in what was initially a train-and-trial deal with the Titans that he was offered a two-year contract in February and elevated into the top 30 squad.
Addison said Spry’s attitude would keep him in good stead and described him as a player "with no ego".
"The kid is so talented and Treymain is the most laidback kid in the history of laidback,” he said.
"He is hugely humble and very quiet. He is an amazing runner and makes excellent decisions with the ball. I didn’t have to coach him much because he seemed to find games easy at schoolboy level.
“He was very popular when at Ipswich State High because he didn’t have one bit of ego about him even though he would score one or two tries each game."
"We both came through in Ipswich. I grew up in Goodna and moved to Redbank Plains," Spry said.
"Ronaldo was originally from New Zealand, but moved over to the Ipswich area and we both went to Ipswich High together.
"We played Queensland 18s together and it is heaps special to run out with him again in the 20s.
“It is great to have those familiar faces beside you and play special games with guys you have grown up with because we were good mates growing up through the junior ranks."
Spry has been picking the brains of Queensland legends on the Under 20s coaching staff. Scott Prince is the co-coach and Lote Tuqiri and Brent Tate, a player Spry has always admired, are also on deck.
"It is heaps good with some of these former greats around. I remember watching Tatey growing up,” Spry said.
“He was just a tough player and always got in there and did the hard yards for Queensland.
"I would love to beat NSW. I lost to them (as an Under 18), so it would be good to get them back."