Brad Fittler scribbles two names off his list and spends his afternoon wondering who he turns to next.
A few hours down the highway, Canberra Raiders five-eighth Jack Wighton is doing just about everything he can bar actually ringing the NSW Blues coach and saying "I'm ready, pick me".
But whether Wighton did enough in a losing side remains to be seen after the Raiders fell to the North Queensland Cowboys 22-16 in front of 14,647 at Canberra Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Raiders star booted a 40-20 - his second of the season - and set up Canberra's first try in his final push to be included in Fittler's NSW side for the State of Origin series opener on June 5.
But he was left shattered after what he dubbed "by far our worst performance" of the season, which comes just as Fittler prepares to name his Blues side on Sunday night.
"It's everybody's dream isn't it? That's what we play footy for. It would mean the world but I'll just keep playing good footy, and that's all I can do," Wighton said.
"[The Cowboys] were better than us throughout the game. We got into a situation where it was an arm-wrestle, but we just let them be the better team."
Canberra took to the field just moments after Blues selector Greg Alexander put a line through five-eighth favourite Luke Keary (concussion) and halfback hopeful Mitchell Pearce (groin).
Keary's second concussion in five weeks will be enough to rule him out of game one against the Queensland Maroons and opens the door for Cody Walker to win the No. 6 jersey.
That could leave a utility spot vacant on the bench - one to which Wighton seems perfectly suited.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart says the 26-year-old has shone in his move from fullback to five-eighth this season. His boot alone has forced eight drop-outs throughout the opening 11 rounds.
"It would be wonderful for Jack, I think he deserves it. He has been one of our best players all season. He's had a wonderful start to his five-eighth career," Stuart said.
Nick Cotric is the other Raider looming as a chance to have his name called out when Fittler takes centre stage in Wollongong on Sunday evening, but questions remain over whether he has done enough.
The 20-year-old has been floated as an option to plug the gap at right centre or on a wing - and Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has long maintained he will not let anyone down if he gets the tap on the shoulder.
Cotric has not looked out of place in his shift to the centres for Canberra - as if anyone would have expected anything else given what he has shown in his 59-game NRL career.
The Tuggeranong junior was called into Blues camp last year and now looms as a genuine chance to make his State of Origin debut at Suncorp Stadium within a fortnight.
"It would definitely be a dream come true but I'm just focusing on the Raiders each week and taking it as it comes," Cotric said.
"I just have to focus on the Bulldogs next weekend, hopefully we get up for that game."
A sky blue jersey for Wighton and Cotric would be the realisation of a dream - but more pressing for the dejected duo is getting Canberra back on track after they fell out of the top four.
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS 22 (Tom Opacic, Justin ONeill, Kyle Feldt tries; Jordan Kahu 5 goals) bt CANBERRA RAIDERS 16 (Bailey Simonsson, Michael Oldfield, Siliva Havili tries; Jarrod Croker 2 goals) at Canberra Stadium. Crowd: 14,647.