Matt Scott says he has unfinished business with Queensland as he targets a State of Origin recall three years since last playing representative football.
The 33-year-old prop has his sights set on inspiring the next generation of Maroons forwards in one last campaign after playing 22 Origins since 2006.
The Cowboys veteran missed the 2017 Origin series with a knee injury while a back and neck injury ruled him out of games two and three of last year's series.
Scott, an integral member of Queensland's decade of Origin dominance, was asked in the wake of the Cowboys' round-nine loss to the Rabbitohs whether the fire still burns to play again with the Maroons.
"I'd be lying if I said it didn't. I think anyone that has played for Queensland or State of Origin, the desire never leaves you to play again," he said.
"The last two years I have missed out through injury and I do feel as though I have unfinished business there.
"I've said all along that, despite what everybody thinks, there are a lot of good young forwards coming through for Queensland at the moment. [Dylan] Napa is back on the field and guys like that. If I don't get picked I am more than happy with what I have done and I have a lot of faith in the next generation of Maroons."
Maroons middle forwards Napa, Jarrod Wallace, Tim Glasby and Jai Arrow have played 16 Origin games between them while Christian Welch and Joe Ofahengaue are yet to play in the Origin arena.
It is leading that next generation into battle for another series that still excites Scott.
"I'd love to. I look at the effect that Petero [Civoniceva] had on me when I was coming through and I'd love to have that same impact on the next generation of Maroons," he said.
"I think they are doing a great job at the moment and if I wasn't there then there is enough experience with Moose [Josh McGuire] and Matty Gillett to lead them on, but I'd be more than happy to be back there.
"I talked to [Maroons coach Kevin Walters] early in the year and he said that he'd love to have me there if I was playing well so. I knew I needed to start the year a bit better than I did last year and I have tried to do that. Who knows if it has been good enough."
Walters said recently that Scott's early-season form had been better than last year and former Queensland captain Cameron Smith told NRL.com that his hit-ups had just as much starch as when he was a Maroons regular.
"Scotty is carrying the ball as good as he has ever carried it so I can't see why he wouldn't be in the picture come selection time," he said.
Meanwhile, Smith told NRL.com that if Daly Cherry-Evans wasn't fit for game one then Morgan was the ideal controlling half with the game management skills to partner the free-running and spontaneous Cameron Munster.
"It is a role I am trying to play here at the Cowboys given that John Asiata hasn't played too much in the halves," Morgan said after the loss to Souths.
"I am trying to take on more responsibility and get us around as an organiser so he can take his opportunities."
Match: Maroons v Blues
Game 1 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
- Nine Network
Morgan is also in the frame to captain Queensland. Just being in the conversation makes him pinch himself
"It makes me still feel a little bit weird to be honest," he said.
"When I hear myself being announced as the Cowboys captain I still feel strange because it means a lot to me. I have accepted the responsibility and I love the position I am in here. For my name to be tossed up to captain Queensland, I am extremely honoured by that."