Andrew Fifita has been told a NSW jersey is his for the taking in Sunday’s City-Country match in Wagga Wagga.
Fifita has been given a chance to reclaim his spot on the representative scene after a trying 2014 on and off the pitch during which he lost his spot in the Blues and Australian sides.
An ankle injury kept him out of the State of Origin arena, while a failed contract saga with Canterbury proved a distraction and was a factor in his slumping form.
His year to forget came to a painful conclusion when he broke two bones in his arm against New Zealand – and he has had to work his way back to his best in 2015.
He said he felt like he was just finding form before he was suspended for two weeks for a dangerous throw against Newcastle but will return to run out for City on Sunday.
NSW City coach and Blues assistant Brad Fittler said there was a NSW position in the offing for Fifita but it was up to him to demand selection.
“It’s a good chance for (Fifita) to stand up,” Fittler said on Tuesday at a City team function feeding the homeless in Woolloomooloo.
“There is a position for him there in Origin if he wants to take it.
“He’s got to stand up. Simple. I’ll leave him to his own weird devices.”
After being forced to watch from his loungeroom when NSW regained the Origin shield last year, Fifita said he was still thirsty to play at the highest level.
“Personally it was a bit tough because I wasn’t out there with them,” Fifita told AAP.
“But then again, I am NSW through and through. And I know how hard Loz (NSW coach Laurie Daley) worked just to do it. He couldn’t do it in his first year but he did it in his second year and I was just happy for him.
“It’s been a long time and I’ve got great mates in the team and I think that was the main thing. I was at home on the lounge kicking back with my ankle up but at the end of the day I was just happy for them.”