NSW coach Brad Fittler has not closed the door on Blake Ferguson's representative career but indicated actions speak louder than words for the Parramatta winger.
Fittler responded to reports last week that Ferguson planned to hold peace talks with the Origin coach over his emerging Blues snub in December last year by declaring the in-form flyer "had his phone number" if ever he wanted to call.
Ferguson expressed his disappointment at being overlooked for the 2018 Origin series and responded in emphatic fashion to finish the season as the game's most dominant winger.
Instead of adding further fuel to the fire when asked about the situation, Fittler told NRL.com he wanted to see the 29-year-old let his football do the talking.
"The fact is he said he wants to play State of Origin and wanted to be a part of what we started last year," Fittler said.
"It's a good step for him and I'm looking forward to how he plays for Parramatta."
Ferguson runs the unders line
The Blues coach has had a sideline look at a beefed-up Ferguson over the past fortnight with his commentary commitments for Channel Nine and the former Rooster could do no wrong against the Bulldogs with two tries, an assist and 298 running metres.
Fittler said Ferguson's actions leading into the series opener on June 5 will go a long way to be considered for an Origin recall.
"Absolutely, just get out there and play footy," Fittler said.
"He's showing good signs. He's working hard for his team and that's important for anyone who wants to be part of our team."
Ferguson takes an intercept
Fittler has begun the process of drawing up a list of Origin hopefuls to keep an eye on over the coming months as the Blues prepare to challenge for back-to-back series wins for the first time since 2005.
The form of Roosters playmaker Luke Keary over the past 12 months had also not gone unnoticed by Fittler.
"Every part of his game has been incredible, he come up with some amazing passes in the conditions on the weekend and that kick over the top of Moses Suli was really special with how delicate it was and how fast he was moving," Fittler said.
"He's obviously learnt off Cooper Cronk and they're the type of performances we're looking for over the next couple of months. Players putting their hand up. We want to stay loyal with a lot of the guys who did the job last year but things happen with injuries and form.
"Our lists are never certain because it can change with every round played."