Blake Green has thrown his name into the endless NSW Origin halves conversation after becoming the latest star to put his faith in football whisperer Joe Wehbe.
Green has started 2018 in just about the best form of his career as the Warriors roll on with the best start in their 22-year history, with the veteran half guiding them to a 30-6 upset of the Roosters on Saturday without playmaker Shaun Johnson.
A knee injury to Penrith Panthers star Nathan Cleary has NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler sizing up all comers for the June 6 series opener at the MCG, and Green did his own cause no harm by resoundingly outpointing fellow contender Luke Keary and retired Queensland champion Cooper Cronk.
Over a decade ago Green was rated the best schoolboy talent in the game, only to struggle with suddenly being a small fish in a big rugby league pond when he graduated to first grade.
But after bouncing around for 43 games at Parramatta, Cronulla and Canterbury, the 31-year-old took to the English Super League with Wigan before returning and building a reputation as one of the NRL's most composed playmakers.
Green played a straight bat to questions on his representative prospects, admitting ''it's not something I've ever really been faced with to be honest.''
But when asked about the roundabout route to put himself in the Origin discussion, the Warriors star pointed to his work with Wehbe, the life coach and mentor who is close mates with Stephen Kearney and confidante to some of rugby league's biggest names.
Match: Roosters v Warriors
Round 4 -
Venue: Allianz Stadium
- LIVE PASS
''I've had a lot of help along the way. I've had plenty of good people that have helped me,'' Green said of his gradual development.
''It hasn't been all me. One of my good mates Joe has had a lot to do with me. He's cleared my mind and broken the game down, really simplified it for me.
"I had plenty of self-doubts, that's why I had to go over [to Super League]. I doubted my ability when I was here for whatever reason. There was probably plenty of them. It just didn't work out when I was here as a young kid, I had to go over there and do it a different way.
''But it was the best thing for me. I got to go over there and learn about the game with less pressure and come back and have another crack at it.''
With James Maloney finding serious form for Penrith in their surprise road win over the Cowboys on Thursday night, Green's shot at a sky blue start would still seem a long one.
That didn't stop Kearney spruiking his wares though, praising the ''real footy head'' who often diagrams plays with salt and pepper shakers at meals, such is his focus.
''I'll tell you what, if he was a Kiwi I'd be looking at him for the Kiwis,'' Kearney said.
''He's got a real calming influence and I don't want to embarrass him, but to me he's made a tremendous contribution to the club.
''He's a footballer, he's a real pro and I'm very pleased he's in our team.''
Warriors press conference – Round 4