SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 05: Blues coach Brad Fittler looks on during a New South Wales Blues State of Origin training session at NSWRL Centre of Excellence Field on July 5, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Brad Fittler has made it clear that Penrith Panthers hooker Apisai Koroisau can still have hopes of pulling on a New South Wales Blues jersey.

Koroisau was fined $50,000 after he invited a woman into the team hotel the night before Game 2 of the 2021 State of Origin series, despite the team - and entire competition at the time - being in a tight COVID bubble.

All three games of the 2021 series were played in Queensland as New South Wales and Victoria grappled with a worsening COVID outbreak, the competition in its entirety eventually shifted north of the Tweed.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: Apisai Koroisau of the Blues celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during game three of the 2021 State of Origin Series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Cbus Super Stadium on July 14, 2021 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, New South Wales coach Brad Fittler said Koroisau's Origin career was anything but over, referencing Blake Ferguson's past issues.

"The door isn't closed on Api. I've always said that everything comes into consideration, People make mistakes", Fittler told the publication.

Blake Ferguson was one player who [overcame adversity and returned]. Fergo not only came back to play Origin, he threw the final pass for ‘Teddy’ [James Tedesco] to win game three in 2019. I wish him all the best through his latest drama.

“You lose a lot of trust, but day by day you can start building that trust up again. Since that has all happened, Api has knuckled down and gone off to win a grand final.

We’ve still got 71 days [until game one]. He’s going really well, even though Penrith have a few players out already. He’s definitely still eligible.”

Damian Cook has been the New South Wales hooker the last four years and has never put a foot out of line. While Fittler says Cook is in the "box seat", his spot isn't guaranteed.

With the South Sydney Rabbitohs off to a poor start to 2022 and Cook playing far from his best rugby league, he will need to regain some form to hold onto his Blues jersey, despite being one of their best since he joined the squad in 2018.

"He came up with a couple poor tackles in the early rounds, but he's tried hard, and he's in a side that looked disjointed before last week's Roosters game," Fittler said

"Cooky has always shown his class, and under pressure he stands up."