According to Queensland coach Kevin Walters, Corey Oates is “built for Origin”.
However, the Brisbane winger has claimed that simply producing form worthy of the NRL has been a battle this year.
Walters has all but confirmed Oates will be named in his Maroons squad for next month’s State of Origin series opener against NSW in Sydney.
“He’s built for Origin,” Walters said.
“Hopefully he can continue his form and we can select from there.”
Ex-backrower Oates is set to be named Queensland winger on the back of his try scoring heroics.
He is ranked equal second on the NRL tally after nine rounds with eight tries.
However, the 21-year-old claimed he had struggled to produce defence worthy of an NRL winger.
Oates is still ruing his poor read in the lead-up to North Queensland flyer Kyle Feldt’s last-gasp try that sent the 2015 grand final into extra-time.
Oates thought he had made great progress working alongside centre Jack Reed in Brisbane’s defensive line this year, but believed plenty of improvement was needed.
“I have been trying to make the right decision off Reedy working off his inside, whether to stay (in the defensive line or not),” he said.
“I feel I am struggling a little bit, but I feel I have come a long way.
“I need to build a bit of belief, not second guess myself.”
Walters did not believe Oates would be found out in defence if he stepped up to Origin.
“I didn’t think he had too many problems defensively,” he said.
Oates is considered an Origin certainty in a new-look Queensland backline without fullback Billy Slater (shoulder), Will Chambers (foot) and fellow centre Justin Hodges (retirement).
“Obviously, three positions have come available from last year’s series and we have to fill that void,” Walters said.
Oates said watching nine of his Broncos teammates play for their country in last weekend’s representative round had made him hungry to step up to Origin this year.
But he wasn’t getting ahead of himself.
“To see them doing that makes me want to get there myself,” Oates said.
“(But) I try not to think about selection for Origin too much.
“I need to be happy with my performances at the Broncos before I can start thinking about making representative sides.”