It's only Round 2 and State of Origin is still 77 days away but Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor has declared James Tedesco "Origin-ready" following the fullback's starring role in Tigers' 36-22 win over the Sea Eagles on Monday night.
With Josh Dugan, Matt Moylan and Brett Morris all currently injured Tedesco is in the box seat to earn a maiden New South Wales jumper for the Origin series-opener on June 1 - either at fullback or on the wing.
Tedesco scored a hat-trick and set up another try in the Tigers' 14-point win over Manly, leaving the two-time Origin representative Taylor pushing for his fullback's selection.
"There are not many better finishers in the game in my opinion," Taylor said.
"We talked about [him making his Origin debut] this time last year and I didn't think he was ready.
"But since then he played every minute of every game last year and in my opinion now it's a real easy decision."
Teammate Luke Brooks shared his coach's sentiment and said Tedesco is exactly what Laurie Daley's side needs to match the likes of Queenslanders Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis and Cooper Cronk.
"He's just so confident. He is backing himself because he knows what he can do. It's good to see because it's showing in his game," Brooks said.
"He's definitely the best fullback New South Wales has and I really think they should pick him, he'd be a great asset to the team.
"He can ball play and at the same time he can beat tackles. It's what the Blues need so that they can go with Queensland's attack."
The man himself declared his intentions to push for Origin selection following the Tigers' win.
After a string of injuries restricted him to a total of 28 games across his first three seasons in the NRL, 2015 proved the charm for Tedesco and it showed with him reaping almost every honour at the Tigers' end-of-season awards luncheon.
"It's been a pretty happy start to the season so far," the 23-year-old said.
"I just want to continue that form and if I do get the call up I'll take it with both hands definitely.
"Throughout this pre-season the body felt good. Having now started the year strong, it has definitely been a confidence boost for me."
This article first appeared on NRL.com