He was a superstar in both rugby league and union, won multiple premierships, represented Queensland in the State of Origin and had 37 caps for the Wallabies, but last week Wendell Sailor was in Karratha to impart the wisdom he’d learnt during a stellar career.

Sailor was in town for the Community Sports Awards, and while he was visiting, he spoke at a free breakfast and trained with the North West Reds Junior State Championships 15s squad and the Karratha Junior Rugby League.

Sailor said the talent he saw at the training sessions was top-notch.

“There was great camaraderie and no one took shortcuts,” he said.

“They all worked for one another, it was such a close-knit group which was so great to see.”

Having grown up in a regional area himself, choosing to visit the Pilbara was an easy decision for the rugby champion because when he was a child he loved it when high-profile people or sports stars came to visit.

“With what I’ve done in my career, giving back is an easy thing to do and I really enjoy it,” he said.

“I get excited about it, I love coaching the kids and talking at different functions, because it could lead to you changing one or two people’s lives.”

Sailor is a big believer in hard work and dedication and was sure to pass on to every person he spoke to, that talent won’t get them all the way.

“You think that talent is going to get you through but it’s not enough,” he said.

“You have to work hard even when the coaches aren’t watching and the cameras aren’t on, that’s where the real difference comes.”

Sailor also wanted to make sure the young sports fanatics in the region knew that just because they lived in a remote area they were not out of mind out of sight.

“Just because they live in a regional area, doesn’t mean they can’t be the next West Cast Eagles player or the next Diamonds star,” he said.

“If you’re good enough and you train hard and are respectful, there’s no reason you can’t step up to the next level.”