Back playing with a smile on his face, Blake Ferguson says he has the hunger for a State of Origin return as the battle for NSW selection enters the final three weeks.
Ferguson hasn't played for the Blues since his infamous pub visit with Josh Dugan days before the series decider in 2017.
But with NSW coach Brad Fittler in need of a winger to replace the injured Tom Trbojevic, Ferguson is ready to answer the call.
"I've still got the competitive juices there to play it," Ferguson said.
Ferguson and Fittler broke bread in late March after the former NSW representative passed on an opportunity to train with the Blues in the summer.
And while neither have spoken about the meeting, Ferguson's form for Parramatta speaks volumes less than a month before the series opener.
He is once again among the league leaders in metres gained, and scored a crucial try for his new club in last week's comeback win over St George Illawarra, following it with a telling backflip.
"Obviously I just want to play some good footy and yeah, whatever comes after I play good footy is a bonus," Ferguson said.
"I'm happy playing for Parramatta and I feel like I'm really enjoying my footy. I'm playing with a smile on my face. Life's good.
"There's a lot to look forward to, to be honest about this club. We've got a high ceiling, I feel like we've only just started."
The 29-year-old will get another chance to impress when he goes head-to-head with incumbent Blues winger Josh Addo-Carr against Melbourne on Saturday.
However Ferguson said his main challenge was charging at the Storm's big men instead.
"I don't really run at the wingers, so I'm looking forward to running at their middles and testing them out and trying to see what I can do there, try and manipulate them a little bit," Ferguson said.
Ferguson has played seven Origin games since making his debut in 2013 - all on the wing - but has failed to score a try in the Origin arena.
Australian Associated Press