Former NSW Blues hooker Benny Elias has backed Apisai Koroisau to hold the role he once made his own for the 2024 State of Origin series.

Koroisau played Game 1 of the 2024 series before being unable to play the remainder of the series with an injury.

Despite his seeming incumbency for the role, there have been plenty of suggestions that North Queensland rake Reece Robson, or his Cronulla Sharks' counterpart Blayke Brailey could be considered for the role. The comments come with last year's replacement Damien Cook falling well down the pecking order at a South Sydney Rabbitohs outfit who have won just one of their first eight games this year, with Cook at one point axed from first-grade.

Elias, who played 19 Origins for the Blues between 1985 and 1994, acknowledged that there is plenty of competition, but told nswrl.com that Koroisau should be wearing the number nine jumper come Game 1, which will be played on June 5 in Sydney, both based on his talent and relationship with star halfback Nathan Cleary having previous played for the Panthers

“Yes there is certainly some great competition. But you can't help not backing Api – he's got the experience, the runs on the board. He's not let anyone down to date,” Elias told nswrl.com.au

“And he's got the relationship and combination with Nathan Cleary at No.7. That is such a valuable thing when you only have a short time relatively in camp.”

Elias, an ex-Tigers player, said Koroisau also brings excellent leadership qualities to any team he plays in.

“I know I might be biased as Api is now a Tigers man but he's taken on the captaincy role at the Wests Tigers with distinction," Elias said.

“He's one of those beautiful players you can't not love, if he's in your team or not. He has such great ability and leadership qualities."

The Blues, who enter the 2024 series under new head coach Michael Maguire, have plenty of selection questions.

While James Tedesco's spot at fullback and Nathan Cleary's halves partner are the main points of contention, the number nine spot will also come under the microscope in the lead up to selection, which will take place at the end of Round 12 in the NRL.

Maguire has made multiple comments suggesting he will pick the team on form, with Koroisau seemingly best suited for the role at this stage given his excellent start to the 2024 season with a Tigers side looking to improve after back-to-back wooden spoons.