Titans flyer Phil Sami has put Origin back on the agenda in 2024 after narrowly missing out on selection in what was one of his most consistent seasons to date.
Shifting back to the wing after a year in the centres in 2022 proved to be a masterstroke for the 26-year-old, he finished with 11 tries and averaged an incredible 171 running metres - including eight games eclipsing over 200 metres.
Sami's name was firmly in the mix to wear the Maroon once again after his maiden call-up in 2020 with Billy Slater leaving the door ajar on both wing positions, although it wasn't to be in 2023 despite a number of best-on-ground performances for the Titans during the representative period.
But he hasn't let the disappointment affect him, instead wanting to maintain all his focus on playing for the Gold Coast and let selection take care of itself.
"It didn't really hurt missing out to be honest… I was just controlling what I can control which was just to play consistent footy," Sami told titans.com.au.
"If the phone rings, I’m always happy to pick it up and answer the calling, but I need to just keep focusing on myself and keep doing what’s best for myself, my family and the club.
"My goal is to get back to rep footy in 2024, but my focus is on the club first and then hopefully that can come later."
The speedster may have some club competition for the coveted Queensland spot however with Alofiana Khan-Pereira tipped to be a bolter for rep duties next year after his Prime Minister's XIII selection at season's end.
It's competition his wing partner welcomes, even wanting to help the Titans rookie out in getting a potential Origin call-up.
"For sure… he's a great chance to play. He’s just got to keep getting better this coming year," Sami said.
"This was his first year in the NRL and we saw what he did, so he’s definitely got room for improvement.
"I’m backing him all the way and I'll try and help him out."
In good news for Sami who is recovering from a lisfranc injury sustained in Round 25, the Titans winger has returned to the training field in a limited capacity in his bid to get back to full fitness in time for February's trials.
"My foot is good. I’ve been running the last couple of weeks with our physio," he said.
"I’ll be integrating back in next week so hopefully I’ll be back and fully running in a couple of weeks' time so I’m flying for the pre-season games."