The stage is set for a blockbuster forward battle after Brisbane prop Payne Haas vowed to make a statement and reclaim his NSW jersey in Saturday's NRL clash with Newcastle.
Still hurting after missing the Blues' State of Origin II romp due to injury, Haas said he wanted to make selectors sit up and take notice before the NSW game three side was named next week when he lined up against his Knights rivals.
Haas aimed to stake a last gasp Blues claim by overpowering the Knights' NSW incumbent prop Daniel Saifiti and likely late injection David Klemmer.
Haas made his Origin debut off the bench in the series opener but missed the Blues' thumping game two win over Queensland in Perth due to a hamstring injury.
However, the 19-year-old said he had the ideal chance to earn a NSW recall this weekend, promising to outplay his Knights rivals.
Starting Newcastle prop Saifiti will go head to head with Haas on Saturday while Klemmer is tipped to return from a wrist injury against the Broncos.
Saifiti made his NSW debut in the 38-6 Origin II rout while Klemmer was Haas' Blues teammate in the series opening loss to Queensland before he also missed game two with injury.
Haas admitted it had been hard to watch the Blues rout Queensland while on the sidelines but made it clear he aimed to feature in July 10's series decider in Sydney.
"That's the plan," Haas said when asked about earning a NSW recall.
"I have got this week (to earn selection).
"It sounds like David Klemmer is back. Klemmer and Daniel Saifiti are two Origin props - I have to make a statement.
"They are probably the form props in the competition. It's a pretty big game for all of us but I can't wait."
Haas said he no longer had any hamstring issues after returning in Brisbane's last round 38-10 loss to Parramatta.
Haas played 64 minutes against the Eels, running for 138m and reeling off 37 tackles.
"I just had a bit of a tweak in my hammy. I didn't want to force it at the time," he said of the injury.
"I am still young and have a lot in front of me and I know how dangerous hamstrings can be (if aggravated)."
Not that Haas was taking anything for granted before the 12th-ranked Broncos took on top five side Newcastle.
"We have to be on our A game otherwise we will be touched up," he said.
"It's do or die for us now.
"Especially in front of a full Knights crowd. They will be ready to rip and tear so we will have to be on our game."
© AAP 2019