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No news from Freddy is good news for focused Luai

Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai said he hadn't heard from Blues coach Brad Fittler but preferred it that way so he could keep a narrow focus with Origin approaching.

While Luai has been arguably the NRL's form No.6 and outpointed NSW rival Cody Walker in last Sunday's 56-12 win over the Rabbitohs, Fittler had indicated that he'll favour experience in picking his team.

It could mean that Canberra's reigning Dally M medallist Jack Wighton, who has performed reliably at centre for the Blues since 2019, will start in the halves alongside Nathan Cleary with Luai among the contenders for an interchange utility role.

"Brad hasn't [reached out]. I sort of like it that way because I can just keep doing what I do," Luai told after setting up two tries to help Penrith trounce South Sydney at Dubbo's Apex Oval.

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"I've got to keep improving every week leading up to Origin."

Luai will have one more chance to convince Fittler he deserves a Blues debut when the undefeated Panthers go into a clash with the last-placed Bulldogs as $1.01 favourites on Saturday afternoon.

Incumbent NSW pivot Walker told AAP in the build-up to facing Luai that his counterpart's performances were "hard to ignore" and that he "wouldn't look out of place" if chosen to take on Queensland.

"I'm definitely grateful, man," Luai said.

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"[Walker] is one of the best five-eighths in the comp and to hear him say something like that about me, it's definitely humbling.

"To be in the position where I'm in the Origin talks, it's really cool to know. But I've got to give a lot of props to [Panthers teammates] because without these boys, I wouldn't be anywhere near the chat. We've got a game to go and I need to put my best foot forward."

Despite their flawless record after 11 rounds, Penrith and Luai are refusing to look too far ahead.

"I think that's something we've practised, starting from last year - taking it week-by-week," the playmaker said.

"It's a strength of ours. We've got two really good leaders in Nathan an Isaah [Yeo] and straight away they switch our focus to who we've got next week. We started to get good at it [last year], obviously with that [17-match] win streak.

"Teams are talking about us being a bit arrogant and that, but we respect every team and we prepare well every week."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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