Matt Moylan believes he is ready for a State of Origin call-up.
Blues coach Laurie Daley has nominated Josh Dugan as his first choice fullback to replace NFL hopeful Jarryd Hayne, but that could change in a NSW camp hit hard by injury.
Dugan played at centre in Origin II and III last year and will play on the wing for Australia in Friday’s Anzac Test against New Zealand.
The St George Illawarra star’s versatility shapes as a key plank in a NSW backline that could be without Brett and Josh Morris and Will Hopoate through injury.
Despite Penrith’s struggles through the opening eight rounds, 23-year-old Moylan has emerged as one of the NRL’s leading playmakers in 2015 and his creativity could be vital in a Blues side that struggled for points last season.
Moylan, who leads the NRL in both try assists and linebreak assists, was a part of Australia’s Four Nations squad last year, though he missed out on making his Test debut.
It was an experience, he says that has him yearning to expand his representative career.
“Getting a taste of that and being in that Australian camp and not getting a game has made me want to get back there more and want to play more rep games,” said, Moylan, who is in his third season with Penrith.
“Just being around senior players in that Australian camp helped my game. I improved each day at training and I reckon I am ready to play (Origin).
“Obviously there are big shoes to fill without Haynesy there, he was outstanding in the series there last year.
“I spoke to Laurie at the Emerging Blues camp and he is big on me working on my defence and stopping some tries there.
“I think I am improving my defence each week and that is a massive goal of mine going forward.”
Moylan enjoyed a stunning rise in 2014. He made his senior representative debut in the City-Country fixture in Dubbo, and was a key figure in the Panthers’ charge to the preliminary final.
He earned selection in the PM XIII’s to play Papua New Guinea at season’s end and was chosen to play in the NRL All Star’s side earlier this year.
” I wasn’t expecting to make the Test side (this week) anyway, I was just hoping to get into this camp and get away for the week, it was a good week last week so I’m looking forward to,” he said.
“It was a great experience last year, I took a lot out of it.”