NRL Rd 9 - Raiders v Bulldogs
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MAY 06: Hudson Young of the Raiders in action during the round nine NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Canterbury Bulldogs at GIO Stadium, on May 06, 2022, in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

After a career-best season, Canberra Raiders back-rower Hudson Young is ready to take his game to the next level, setting his sights on a State of Origin appearance in 2023.

Despite his rampant form in 2022, Young was overlooked for Brad Fittler's squad – with Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga one of many observers surprised that the 24-year-old hadn't factored into consideration.

Meninga went on to include Young in his extended World Cup squad despite his absence from the interstate series, after an impressive NRL campaign that yielded 14 tries in 24 appearances. He also averaged nearly 30 tackles and 106 running metres per game.

Though Young didn't make Meninga's final squad for the World Cup, selection was a vote of confidence after a great year.

“That was very special, Mal coming to me,” Young told The Canberra Times.

“Obviously State of Origin would be a dream come true, but I don't think I can look too far ahead. I know what I need to work on to get better as a player and as a team.

“NSW has great competition (for places). It's only going to help the Blues win more series' with that competition in the back row, and it's something I'll be looking to get in the mix of and hopefully put my hand up to make the team.”

While Meninga imparts his advice through former Raiders teammate and current coach Ricky Stuart, Young will also benefit from the wisdom of current New Zealand coach Michael Maguire, who has joined the team as an assistant.

As his game continues to develop, Young is aware that his mindset must follow suit.

“It's just ‘keep working and never look too far ahead' – the old cliché of taking it one week at a time,” Young said.

“It helps not to get too far ahead. I know what I need to work on and just keep working hard here with the coaches.

“I feel like I've only just come on the scene and I'll be looking forward to taking it up (a level) each year.”