Canberra coach Ricky Stuart says five-eighth Jack Wighton deserves a NSW jumper after his stellar season continued against North Queensland on Saturday.
Sydney Roosters star Lukey Keary (concussion) and Mitchell Pearce (groin) were ruled out of State of Origin on Saturday which has opened the door for Wighton.
The remaining halves contenders are incumbent Nathan Cleary, South Sydney duo Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds, plus Wighton.
Canberra lost to the Cowboys 22-16 but Wighton was superb as his stellar transition from fullback to five-eighth this season continued.
Wighton's versatility puts him in the hot seat to fill the utility role on the Blues bench and Stuart said he'd pick the 26-year-old.
"He's had a wonderful start to his five-eighth career," Stuart said.
"It would be wonderful for Jack (to get picked), I think he deserves it and he's been one of our best players all season."
Wighton was rock-solid in defence, kicked a 40-20, set up a try and even drew praise from Cowboys coach Paul Green.
"He's a good player and certainly a threat when he runs the ball," Green said.
The NSW right centre spot is also up for grabs and Raiders young gun Nick Cotric did his chances no harm against the Cowboys, looking dangerous whenever he touched the ball.
Cotric, 20, was named 18th man for the Blues in the Origin opener last year.
Australian Associated Press