Matt Encarnacion, Western Sydney Correspondent, NRL.com
Fresh from his leading role in New South Wales' breakthrough series win last week, Blues and Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods has now set his sights on a possible Kangaroos birth in the Four Nations in October.
After a couple of outings in the Origin arena, doubts were cast on Woods' ability to find another gear in his football, but the 23-year-old responded with two hallmark displays against premier prop Matt Scott.
Now he's aiming to play alongside him for Australia, and he's going to use the rest of the season to show why he should be.
"Obviously it's on the radar, but it'd be no good if I don't go well with the Tigers and not make the top eight," Woods said on Tuesday.
"[The selectors] want you to keep playing footy for the rest of the year. Obviously they pick the Test squad after the comp finishes. You can't finish 4-5 weeks earlier. We need to get the Tigers on the front foot."
Woods will have another opportunity to prove his credentials when the Blues attempt a series whitewash at Suncorp Stadium in 14 days time. And they'll do so against a Maroons pack missing their spearhead in Scott, who suffered a serious facial fracture in their series loss last Wednesday night.
"Obviously he's the number one prop in the world, so it's a massive change [for Queensland]," Woods said.
"But they've got a lot of blokes who can come in. They've got Josh Maguire, and Dave Shillington, who we're playing this week. It's an Origin game, whoever takes their spot will be the right man for the job."
Woods finally returned to training for Wests the first time on Wednesday still on a high, but spoke of his desire to complete what only three other NSW teams have done before – win a series 3-0.
"It was the best moment of my league career," he said of winning Game Two. "It hasn't changed me. I'm still the same bloke. It hasn't really sunk in too much yet. I've still got another game to go up there, especially in Brisbane. We want to get 3-0. That's our job so we've got to get it done."
Woods and his Tigers teammates take on Canberra in Campbelltown this week in a clash centre Chris Lawrence described as a "must-win" after losing four of their past six games, pushing them out of the top eight.
"It's definitely not going to be easy. It's a must-win for us. We haven't won too many of our last 4-5 games, so it's important for us to get a win and try and stay in touch with that top eight," Lawrence said.
"... We have to definitely improve on our performance before the bye, and even our performance against the Knights the week before that.
"It's going to be a tough game. We're just out of the eight now, so we need to put a few wins together to stay in that eight. "