Jaydn Su'A is set to be named for his first Test jersey with Samoa next week, thanks in part to a timely return to the Broncos NRL team.
After five weeks playing for Souths-Logan in the Intrust Super Cup, Su'A was reintroduced to the Broncos' top squad last Sunday as Origin back-rower Matt Gillett was rested and a knee injury to Alex Glenn this week has allowed him to retain his place in the 17 for Saturday night's clash with the Eels in Sydney.
A broken ankle brought Su'A's 2018 season to a premature end and he endured a further setback when he reinjured the ankle prior to Christmas, which limited his physical preparation for the gruelling season ahead.
Such was Anthony Seibold's high opinion of the 21-year-old, Su'A started in the second row in round one against Melbourne but by round seven he had been relegated to reserve grade.
In addition to the disappointment of dropping out of Brisbane’s top 17, Su'A conceded the thought of being overlooked for Samoa also crossed his mind.
Eels v Broncos - Round 14
"It does play on the back of your mind but to even make that side you need to be playing good footy," he said. "Play good footy and everything will just jump on the back of that.”
A Junior Kangaroos representative in 2016 and 2017, Su’A has been in contact with Samoa coach Matt Parish during the week as he prepares to enter the senior international arena for the first time.
As Tonga continue to develop to the point where they are now regularly playing against the top tier nations, Su’A wants to be part of a Samoan resurgence.
"If I am able to make that Samoan squad it will be my first cap so I haven't really talked to the other boys so I'm not sure what they're doing,” Su’A said when asked whether there was a similar commitment within the Samoan players to that of the Tongan representatives.
"What Tonga have done has been very special for the game and I'm sure Samoa will be the same.
"I think [the team] gets picked on Sunday night and I want to be a part of that.”
Despite the fact he was part of five straight losses during his time with Souths-Logan, Su’A insists it was what he needed at the time but has no intention of heading back there any time soon.
"At first it was a kick in the guts. That's not where you want to be but I learnt fast that you can't go kicking stones otherwise it's going to affect you,” said Su’A, who will be playing his 31st NRL game on Saturday.
"I went back there with a positive attitude and tried to get the minutes under my belt and get a bit more confidence in myself.
"I was stuck at Q Cup for the last five or six weeks which ideally is not where you want to be but it's where I needed to be.
"My match fitness wasn't where it needed to be. Obviously I had that little hiccup just before Christmas which set me back a little bit but I felt like it was where I needed to be and so too did ‘Seibs’ [Anthony Seibold] obviously.
"He sent me back and I've done my time there so hopefully I can keep my spot somehow in the 17.”