Manly prop Brenton Lawrence covets a Queensland Origin jersey so much it must just land him in the dog house.
The 32-year-old has been mentioned in dispatches as a possible bench option for Kevin Walters’ side for their series opener at Suncorp Stadium on May 31.
With Matt Scott missing due to injury, Lawrence is seen as in the running along with the likes of Jacob Lillyman and Jarrod Wallace.
He has received an endorsement from former Queensland Origin great Billy Moore to receive his State of Origin debut after finding career-best form for the Sea Eagles in 2017.
Asked what a Maroons jumper would mean to him, he says it would be the best day of his life and that includes his wedding last year.
While that sort of passion might endear him to Walters, his wife Casey might be asking him to sleep on the couch for the next few weeks.
“I feel like I’m doing an alright job,” Lawrence said after Manly’s 24-14 loss to Brisbane.
“If I get picked in Origin, that’d be the best thing that ever happened to me I reckon.
“I think the cliche is to say ‘I’ll keep playing footy and see what happens’. If they pick me, I got married last year and it’d be better than that. It’d be unreal.”
Asked how his wife might feel about that statement, he said: “She knows.”
Lawrence has been one of the driving forces behind the Manly engine room this season and has started every game after a horror couple of years which saw his progress stunted by injury.
In 2014 he was named in the Queensland emerging squad however managed just 10 games in 2015-16 after a series of serious back problems.
However with his problems behind him, he has been able to build momentum and confidence in his body.
“It’s just consistency and a good off season,” Lawrence said.
“When you have a bad patch of injuries you can’t train. And you need to train – training keeps you fit, keeps you strong, keeps you on the paddock.
“And one bad injury after another just wasn’t helping my body and wasn’t helping me physically and athletically. When all those things are in line, you play better footy.”