He's arguably the most maligned player in the NRL, but Queensland's decision to recall Daly Cherry-Evans for State of Origin III has been heralded by Manly teammate Jake Trbojevic.
Cherry-Evans is set to finally end his Maroons exile after being selected at halfback over Ben Hunt for the dead rubber in Brisbane on Wednesday week.
It comes almost three years after his most recent game for Queensland, an absence that has fuelled speculation the Sea Eagles skipper had fallen out of favour with Maroons selectors.
Cherry-Evans' reputation also copped a hammering last month after former Manly star Anthony Watmough launched a personal attack on his ex-teammate over their time together at the club.
But the 29-year-old now gets a chance to prove his worth at Origin level and Trbojevic says the opportunity is well deserved.
"He's a good mate of mine and I see how hard he works. He's been playing some good footy and works extremely hard, so reward for hard work," Trbojevic said on Monday.
"It's natural when you miss out on those sort of things to be disappointed, but the thing about him is he's really mentally strong and never lets anything get to him too much.
"He doesn't let it affect the way he acts around the boys or the way he plays. It's a credit to himself. He cops it in the media or from players a lot and it never lets it affect him. It's a real strong thing of his."
Trbojevic admits being upset by the constant criticism Cherry-Evans endures on a weekly basis, and praised him for withstanding the tirade from Watmough a few weeks ago.
"I don't think anyone cops it more than Chez does. It's pretty harsh because he's a great guy, a great leader, doing a great job," he said.
"It's frustrating to see your mate get bagged like that all the time when you know it's not true. But you just don't listen to it.
"Everyone heard about it and was talking about it. But it's like him - it's business as usual."
There were also suggestions Trbojevic should take over as captain of the Sea Eagles, but the NSW representative declared Cherry-Evans as the man to continue leading the club.
"I think he's done a great job since he's been captain the last couple of years. I think it's even taken his game to another level. We all love him as captain and want him to be there," he said.