Maranta's Broncos destiny

When it comes to choosing a career, it's not uncommon for a child to follow in their parents' footsteps.

Families full of teachers, doctors, dentists and builders have been the norm in society for many years, as kids get a guiding nudge in a certain direction by their parents.

So it came as no surprise to many when Lachlan Maranta made his Broncos debut as a 20-year-old in Round 14, 2012. 

Grandson of Broncos co-founder Barry Maranta and the son of former Brisbane, Parramatta and Gold Coast utility Brett Plowman, there was no escaping the rugby league bubble for Lachlan.

The Wests Panthers Bardon junior became involved with the Broncos from an early age.

At five he was a Broncos ball boy, collecting stray Steedens at Brisbane's old home ground at QEII, or ANZ Stadium as it was known at the time.

His mother, Robyn, was Wayne Bennett's assistant, but on weekends she would always find the time to drive her son to footy.

Despite an obvious rugby league influence inside the family, in his early days as a junior he recalls more about after the fulltime whistle than pulling on the red and black Panthers jumper.

"I remember after the game. If I had a good game I'd get a $1 can of Pasito (soft drink) – so that was always a bit of an incentive to play footy – the treats that came after it," Maranta told NRL.com ahead of PlayNRL Round this weekend.

Although a post-game sugar hit wasn't the only excitement Maranta derived from playing junior rugby league.

"I remember having plenty of fun. Obviously you weren't playing for sheep stations back then so you could really just enjoy yourself," he said.

"I had mates that played, so it was just that comradery and because of school back then it takes something away from that and you get to have a bit of fun on the weekend."

A talented junior sportsman, Maranta attended St Joseph's College in inner city Brisbane, just a five-minute drive from Suncorp Stadium.

He dabbled in several sports during high school, but decided at 16 that rugby league was his desired path despite being a gifted cricketer.

"I was always pushed a bit more into other sports by grandad. He always wanted me to play cricket, but footy worked out," said Maranta, who has 13 tries from 44 NRL appearances.

"Out of school I was lucky to enough to get an under-20s contract at the Broncos and I was there for three years. Then when I was 20 I played Q Cup (now known as the Intrust Super Cup) for Norths (Devils) and luckily in that year I got my debut and I've been poking away at it since."

Along with his family, Maranta, now 24, credits former Broncos development manager Paul Bunn as an influential figure in his development.

"I think it's very important, especially the families and coaches you have," he said.

"I was lucky to have a coach, Paul Bunn, who I still consider the best coach I've played under so I've been very lucky in that sense."

That's some endorsement from a player who has played under both Wayne Bennett and Anthony Griffin.

Round 3 of the Telstra Premiership is PlayNRL Round where the game will celebrate all that’s great about grassroots rugby league. 

Rugby league is all about having fun, making friends and staying healthy. The NRL is using this round to help promote Junior Rugby League and thank you, our future stars and fans and heroes who help make it all possible.

Join the conversation at #PlayNRL, get your tickets at nrl.com/tickets and get to a game. Talk to your local junior club about signing up as a player or volunteer and join the thousands of people who make rugby league great.