Newcastle prop Saifiti an Origin long shot
Potential NSW bolter Daniel Saifiti says he's raring to go if given the nod by Blues coach Brad Fittler, but admits he's an outside chance to replace Newcastle teammate David Klemmer.
Fittler and his selectors have a big decision to make over the next three days as attempt to fill the void left by Klemmer's absence for next weekend's must-win Origin II in Perth.
The 195cm, 121kg giant is seen as an outside chance for an Origin debut among contenders which include Brisbane's Matt Lodge, Penrith pair James Tamou and Reagan Campbell-Gillard plus Cronulla's Matt Prior.
Lodge is considered the front-runner to combine with Broncos teammate Payne Haas and Paul Vaughan in the Blues' engine room.
However, Knights great and Blues adviser Danny Buderus this week said Saifiti possessed the kind of frame needed to stand up to Queensland's pack after they dominated NSW in the second-half of game one in Brisbane.
And Klemmer, who has been ruled out for four to six weeks with a fractured wrist, this week admitted he was surprised Saifiti was not in the selection mix.
"It means a lot, we have a close relationship now," Saifiti said of Klemmer's endorsement.
"I know he trusts me on the field, but to have his backing like that is pretty cool.
"I'm a realist and I know it's unlikely, but if I did get picked I'd take it both hands and put my best foot forward."
Saifiti burst onto the Blues' radar after refusing to take a backward step against South Sydney's Burgess brothers in last week's upset win over the Rabbitohs.
Saifiti was sin-binned for a fight with Tom Burgess after the Newcastle pack made a pre-game pact to stand up in Klemmer's absence.
"I was just on the massage table and (James Gavet) said it's a real good opportunity for me to stand up and just take it with both hands," Saifiti said.
"He had full faith in me and we got the job done ... it was just words of wisdom."
A look at the per game stats of the contenders replace David Klemmer for Origin II.
* Matt Lodge - 148-metres, 25.3 tackles, 2 tackle busts, 2.4 missed tackles
* James Tamou - 116m, 1.1 tackle busts, 31.2 tackles, 0.7 missed tackles
* Matt Prior - 93m, 0.7 tackle busts, 21.9 tackles, 1.6 missed tackles
* Reagan Campbell-Gillard - 91m, 0.7 tackle busts, 31.3 tackles, 1.5 missed tackles
* Daniel Saifiti - 88m, 0.8 tackle busts, 21.6 tackles, 1.6 missed tackles
© AAP 2019