With State of Origin selection just under two months away, incumbent NSW prop and Panthers favourite, Tim Grant, has his mind on other things… more important things.
The 25-year-old, who made his debut for the Blues during Game II last year, said he’d prefer to focus all his energy on winning games for Penrith than think about getting sized up for a sky blue jersey.
“There’s plenty of guys there looking to put their hand up for a spot this year, but to be honest, I don’t really want to talk about it just yet,” Grant told Extra Time.
“We’ve got a game on this weekend and there’s plenty of more footy to be played before those teams are picked, so that’s my main priority.”
With plenty of promising NSW forwards hopeful of snaring Grant’s spot, he knows he has a lot of work to do to get back to his devastating form that finally made him a household name last year.
“I know what I do well and I know what I’ve got to work on,” Grant said.
“I definitely haven’t hit my peak yet. I’ve got a lot to improve and a lot to learn but certainly I can see the progression in my game.”
Grant started last Sunday’s game against the Titans from the bench and has again been named there for Saturday’s clash with North Queensland.
He says the Panthers can turn around their 1-3 record to start the season.
“There’s plenty of good signs there but also stuff we’ve got to fix. We’re confident in our ability. We’ve all trained together for a long time now, we know what each other can do and that brings confidence. We definitely believe in ourselves, that’s for sure,” Grant said.
Next year Grant and his forwards partner Sam McKendry will be joined in the front-row by two-time premiership winner, Brent Kite from the Manly Sea Eagles.
“Brent will be great for us – he adds leadership, played at the highest level and won the Clive Churchill Medal (2008),” Grant said.