New South Wales coach Brad Fittler has endorsed one-time Blues representative Nick Cotric ahead of this year's Origin series.
Cotric made his representative debut in 2019, featuring in the series opener in a four-point loss to Queensland before injuries hampered his hopes of returning to the NSW camp for the remainder of the series.
The former Bulldog has looked to rekindle his career-best form since returning to Canberra for the 2022 season, with his opening six games catching the eye of Fittler.
Both Cotric and Raiders five-eighth Jack Wighton have impressed Fittler among the Raiders squad this year, with the former potentially earning a reprieve into the Blues system.
"I love watching Nick play. I think his form has been good," Fittler told The Canberra Times.
"He runs a lot, he's hard to tackle and makes tackle breaks, and he's doing a lot of it out of his own end."
Cotric will face tough competition for a NSW jumper in 2022, with wide back duties already heavily contended for this season.
Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell is the only confirmed absence for Game I, while Manly superstar Tom Trbojevic is no certainty to play as he nurses a hamstring issue.
Bronco Kotoni Staggs firms as a likely debutant in the centres, while Dally M favourite Ryan Papenhuyzen has staked his case across the opening eight rounds.
Stephen Crichton, Bradman Best and Matt Burton would also compete with Cotric for a role out wide.
While Fittler's comments have been welcoming amid Cotric's first season back in the nation's capital, the 23-year-old has admitted he has room to improve before reaching an Origin calibre.
"I've got to work on my game, get a bit better, just to feel good, have more confidence," he said of his Origin prospects.
"Playing that 2019 series, my first Origin game, it's something that I want to be back to play. That was a great experience and I'd love to be back there.
"I've got to find my rhythm again and I'm slowly getting it back. I'm just focusing on getting my role for the team right and getting my hands on the ball as much as I can."
Cotric will look to continue his strong run of form on Friday when the Raiders host the Bulldogs at GIO Stadium.