Ethan Lowe’s stunning State of Origin debut for the Maroons has him in line to 'do a Gavin Cooper' and wear the Queensland jersey on a regular basis in the future.
The versatile 28-year-old is also in line for more minutes and a possible starting position for the Rabbitohs’ run to the finals.
Cooper had to wait until he was 30 to get his State of Origin debut but played six games for the Maroons in his twilight years.
Lowe made 52 tackles on debut and 90 metres from 14 tough runs in Queensland’s narrow 26-20 loss in the Origin decider. His late chargedown secured his team possession and enabled the Maroons to level the scores 20-all.
Maroons chairman of selectors Gene Miles made a beeline for Lowe in the aftermath of the loss to congratulate him on a "smashing" performance.
Miles was adamant the 2015 premiership winner had set himself up to a be a Maroons regular in the future.
"Absolutely. How could you not admire what he did on the night,” Miles told NRL.com.
Lowe on a high despite series defeat
"He played 80 minutes and still had the energy at the end to do a charge down. He got belted but kept getting up. He did a lot of the tough stuff that can go unnoticed but doesn’t go unnoticed to the people who count.
"They are the type of people we want in the Maroon jersey, the guys that appreciate when they are selected and give that sort of an effort.
"The first guy I went up to in the change room after the game was Ethan, just to congratulate him. He was with his family and I said that they should be proud of his efforts on his debut. He exceeded our expectations and justified wearing that Maroons jersey for the first time. He has always been on the fringe and just smashed his opportunity."
Miles said Lowe could now look forward to more opportunities at Souths under coach Wayne Bennett, who signed the former Cowboy at the start of the year.
"The supercoach was always a really good supporter of Lowey actually. He didn’t hesitate to snap him up to go back to Souths," Miles said.
"You’d love to think that he will get a starting spot now that [George] Burgess is out. I know he plays on the right edge but he could play in the middle for you."
Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles - Round 17
Lowe started the season with Souths on the interchange bench but in recent weeks has played 80 minutes as a centre or second-rower while key players Braidon Burns and Sam Burgess have been out injured.
Rabbitohs assistant coach Jason Demetriou mentored Lowe when he won an Intrust Super Cup and NRL State Championship title with Northern Pride in 2014 and was assistant coach at the Cowboys in 2015.
"The thing with Ethan is that we have used him sparingly off the bench and he has played in the centres. We need to get some stability around him," Demetriou told NRL.com.
"He is an 80-minute player and the longer he plays the better he plays. He has been immense for us.
"Lowey has a lot of leadership qualities and will grow in that area as well after his Origin experience.
"Lowey is made for Origin. He is all effort and will carry the footy any time the ball comes near him. To make 52 tackles is huge.
"He will do his job and someone else’s if need be. That’s why I wanted to get him down to Souths because we needed a back-rower and his qualities are hard to come by."