While Jeremiah Nanai has proven a revelation for the resurgent Cowboys so far this season, the teenaged dynamo isn't resting on his laurels, claiming that if he is to win a Maroons jersey in 2022, it will be off the back of his output across the next fortnight.
Currently sitting third on the competition with seven wins from their 10 starts, Todd Payten's side from the far north has exceeded many expectations so far across their current campaign.
However, the young squad's mettle is set to truly be put to the test in Rounds 11 and 12, with successive fixtures against the Storm and Panthers on the horizon.
Though the prospect of facing the strongest side in contemporary history, as well as the reigning premiers, in back-to-back battles is enough to have most quaking in their boots, Nanai has stressed to be the best, you have to beat the best.
With eight tries from his 10 outings in 2022, Nanai has already entered Maroons coach Billy Slater's sights for a spot in Origin I on June 8, however, the Kiwi-born second-rower remains keen to test himself against the likes of Jesse Bromwich, Viliame Kikau and Liam Martin.
“It will be a good challenge for myself personally against the top teams,” Nanai told Fox Sports.
“I haven’t played them yet so it will a good challenge to see what I can do against them.
“It would mean everything to me to play for Queensland, to be quite honest, I want to pull on that jersey.
“I’ve always wanted to play for Queensland as a kid so if that dreams comes true I’ll love it and take every opportunity.
“If I play the footy I’ve been playing (against the Storm and Panthers) then hopefully that opportunity comes and I’ll be very grateful.”
Though recency bias is likely to have Nanai earning a place in Slater's side, the 19-year-old is still forced to contend for a debut jersey against the likes of Felise Kaufusi, Kurt Capewell, Jai Arrow and fellow young-gun David Fifita.
Still, with the former Storm star offering some sage advice, the kid from Auckland's west remains buoyant about his chances to represent his adopted home at some stage throughout the three-game series.
“I’ve spoken to him [Slater] a couple of times, he’s just been telling me to keep playing good footy, that I’ve been doing good and to just keep doing the one-percenters,” Nanai revealed.
“It was good advice from Billy, I’ve just got to take it on board.
“I just feel blessed one of the greats has been calling me, it’s been a big motivation for me too, to hopefully one day pull that jersey on.”
Nanai will earn his latest chance to put his best foot forward when the Cowboys host the travelling Storm at Queensland Country bank Stadium at 5:30pm (AEST) on Saturday evening.