By rights, Corey Oates should be happy.
But the Brisbane winger admits a Four Nations snub “hurt” and has spurred him on to better his stellar 2016 NRL season.
Oates cemented a spot in Queensland’s all-conquering Origin back line this season, capping a meteoric rise for the 22-year-old.
Yet Oates still finished the year with a sense of regret after being overlooked for the Kangaroos’ triumphant Four Nations campaign.
“I think not getting picked this year it hurt in a way,” Oates told the Broncos website.
“I think I’ve got to start realising that’s my next step, playing for my country.
“Even though it hurt, I was pretty happy with the year I had and that’s definitely the next thing I want to do – to wear that green and gold and represent my country.”
Not that Oates was taking his Maroons jumper for granted.
“Another goal for me I think next year is obviously to try and make the Origin team again,” he said.
“It would be a big downer if you get picked one year and don’t get picked the next.
“That’s all down to me obviously and the way I want to go about things and how hard I’m training in the off-season.”