There's not much more Ryan James can do to earn a NSW jumper, Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan concedes.
But it won't stop the Titans skipper trying to get one over Blues rival David Klemmer in Saturday's NRL clash with Canterbury after the Bulldogs prop cruelly denied him his State of Origin debut.
James began packing his bags after being told by officials he was in NSW coach Brad Fittler's 20-strong squad for the series opener in Melbourne.
However Fittler changed his mind at the last minute and opted for Klemmer instead.
James is no closer second time around either, with Fittler on Sunday night tipped to name an unchanged side for June 24's Origin II, Klemmer having impressed in the Blues' 22-12 first up win.
Asked if James could do any more to get a nod, Brennan said: "No, probably not.
"He plays big minutes. He's honest. I heard Freddy (Fittler) say a few times Ryan is a smart footballer, and he is.
"He wouldn't let the Blues down but in saying they did a pretty good job last time they played and had a win."
Brennan tried to play down James' looming duel with Klemmer but believed the Titans prop would give NSW selectors another reminder of his talents at Belmore.
Especially with Gold Coast's Queensland prop Jarrod Wallace suspended for the Bulldogs clash.
"Ryan doesn't have steam coming out of his ears too often to be honest, he just goes about his business," Brennan said of James' reaction to the NSW backflip.
"He's our captain, he leads by example and with Jarrod not being there he will need to step up a bit more too.
"But I am sure he will do a really good job for the Titans."
James responded to missing out on Melbourne by running 117m and scoring two bulldozing tries in last round's tight loss to South Sydney.
"He showed last week how he can play and what level he is capable of," Brennan said.
"Ryan has just got to bide his time, keep playing well for the Titans and if there is an injury or lack of form I am sure he will get the opportunity (for NSW)."