Miles: Darius in selection mix
Darius Boyd says if the Queensland team is picked on form, he will miss out, but chairman of selectors Gene Miles insists the Brisbane captain is "well and truly in the picture" to be the Maroons' left winger.
Boyd had a slow start to the season due to a hamstring complaint but is starting to hit his straps after shining in the Broncos' recent wins over the Warriors and South Sydney.
Queensland's back five is taking shape for the Holden State of Origin series opener at the MCG with Billy Slater to play fullback, Greg Inglis and Will Chambers set to reunite in the centres and last year's Wally Lewis Medal winner Dane Gagai to play on the right wing.
Boyd is in a race with Valentine Holmes and Corey Oates for the left flank.
Counting in the 30-year-old's favour is his proven centre/wing combination with Greg Inglis where the duo has scored 26 tries in their 20 Origin games together.
"They have got the best left-hand side combination in Queensland history and I have noted a vast improvement in Darius's game over the last couple of weeks and particularly against the Rabbits the other night," Miles told NRL.com.
"He stretched out really well and got into a bit of clear ground.
"The [Broncos] team hasn't been firing as a team either and he's had that concern as captain of the club, which we all went through, but Darius has played 28 games for Queensland and never let Queensland down."
Holmes has also made a compelling case to be included despite indifferent club form for Cronulla.
"Valentine Holmes scored a heap of tries for Australia in the World Cup," Miles said.
"He wouldn't have started the season the way he would have liked you wouldn't think after he trained at fullback in the off-season, but now he is starting to run into some form with Cronulla.
"A lot can happen and a lot will happen over the next five or six weeks."
Boyd is on the cusp of being awarded the prestigious FOGS Statesman's Award for playing 30 Origin games.
"It's a special club but I don't want to go in there and make up the numbers," Boyd said at the launch of the NRL's Out for Blood campaign in Brisbane.
"I want to go in there because I deserve to be there and to get the job done for the team, the state and the fans. Thirty games would be nice but there's a job to be done first.
"On form at the moment I probably wouldn't be there [in the Queensland team] but I think I've done the job in the past and I am very proud of it. I've never let the Queensland jersey down.
"The last two or three weeks have been a step in the right direction.
"I think I had a good game against the Warriors and I've felt really confident in my body and on the field for the last four or five weeks."
Boyd said his teammate Corey Oates "has to be" in the frame for a Queensland recall.
"He is playing great footy and would be one of the form wingers in the competition," Boyd said.
"If he can't get a wing spot for Queensland you'd like to think he'd be a big chance to get a reserve spot [on the bench].
"He played in the back row in the pre-season for us and to have that cover, whether it is in the forwards or backs, in Origin with the way he runs the ball would be a big asset."