Canberra Raiders five-eighth Jack Wighton's rise continues with the door to an Australian Kangaroos debut opening a little further.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga will name the NSW Blues centre in his Origin merit team on Sunday, along with Raiders teammate Josh Papalii.
The pair could be in Australia's end-of-season squad, after Wighton was named in the centres and Papalii at prop.
But Papalii still has to decide whether he wants to return to the Kangaroos fold, having made himself unavailable the past two years.
It's the first time the Raiders have had any players in the merit starting 13, which is only in its third year of existence.
Papalii was named on the bench in the 2018 team.
The pair will back up from State of Origin for the Raiders against St George Illawarra at Wollongong on Sunday, having lined up on opposite sides of the fence in the decider at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday.
Wighton returns from the victorious Blues camp, where he played a role in NSW's first back-to-back series win since 2005.
Things are on the up and up for the 26-year-old, who switched from fullback to five-eighth this season.
It's been a key part in the Raiders' climb into the NRL top four.
But they face a Dragons team that's won five of the past six encounters with the Green Machine.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart backed Wighton to take the next step to represent his country.
Canberra co-captain Jarrod Croker was expecting Wighton to bring back the same energy to face the Dragons as he has after each Origin game.
"He was confident, he was buzzing, he was actually excited. He won't mind me saying he misses the boys when he's away," Croker said.
"He always tells us in the group chat he misses us so he'll be excited to see all the boys again.
"He'll be full of confidence, he always brings that energy and enthusiasm.
"A couple of extra days off after the game will help him, he'll have four days before Sunday night's game."
Papalii's a contender for the Kangaroos' starting front row, but he's yet to decide whether he'll make himself available or potentially play for Samoa.
Croker said it was good for the Raiders to have an increasing number of representative players.
"It's a different feeling for the club. Papa's probably been the lone wolf there for the last couple of seasons," he said.
"To have Jacko, and Nick [Cotric]'s one of them that may have been there as well, but to have those guys coming back into the side it's very pleasing."
Origin merit team: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Blake Ferguson, 3. Jack Wighton, 4. Tom Trbojevic, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Josh Papalii, 11. Boyd Cordner, 12. Felise Kaufusi, 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14. Ben Hunt, 15. Paul Vaughan, 16. Cameron Murray, 17. Josh McGuire.
NRL ROUND 17
Sunday: St George Illawarra Dragons v Canberra Raiders in Wollongong, 6.10pm.
Raiders squad: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Bailey Simonsson, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Nick Cotric, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson (c), 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. John Bateman, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Joe Tapine. Interchange: 14. Siliva Havili, 15. Corey Horsburgh, 16. Sia Soliola, 21. Emre Guler, 18. Sam Williams, 19. Michael Oldfield.
Dragons squad: 1. Matthew Dufty, 2. Jonus Pearson, 3. Euan Aitken, 4. Timoteo Lafai, 5. Mikaele Ravalawa, 6. Corey Norman, 7. Darren Nicholls, 8. Jeremy Latimore, 9. Cameron McInnes, 10. Blake Lawrie, 11. Jacob Host, 12. Tariq Sims, 13. Luciano Leilua. Interchange: 14. Korbin Sims, 15. Reece Robson, 21. Ben Hunt, 23. Tyson Frizell, 18. Tristan Sailor, 22. Paul Vaughan.