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Club focus for Origin hopeful Moylan

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/05/2016 Daniel Gilhooly

Fine-tuning the art of captaincy, staying injury-free and beating the Warriors are Matt Moylan's priorities this week.

Somewhere deep in the backblocks of his mind is State of Origin selection.

An in-form Moylan leads the Penrith Panthers in their mid-table NRL clash with the Warriors in Christchurch on Saturday.

Another slick performance would thrust his name further into the reckoning for the New South Wales fullback berth.

A shoulder injury to James Tedesco and the likelihood that Josh Dugan will be shifted elsewhere in the Blues backline for game one has turned fullback into a two-player race.

North Queensland custodian Lachlan Coote has been irrepressible on attack this season.

However, NSW coach Laurie Daley will appreciate the skilful Moylan's contributions in five games since returning from a back injury in the pre-season.

Hitting form so quickly was a bonus, having missed the second half of last season with a serious ankle injury.

The 24-year-old admits Origin football is a level he wants to one day attain but he can't afford to focus on it.

"Coming off a long lay-off from injury, I was just trying to get back out there and focus on playing good footy for the club," he said.

"That sort of stuff (Origin) takes care of itself. If you're playing well enough, you'll be in the frame for it.

"I've still got to improve and develop that consistency again but I'm feeling good. The body's used to the grind again."

Moylan admits he is still honing his captaincy style.

Leadership support from halves Peter Wallace and Jamie Soward had proved invaluable both on the training ground and during games, he said.

Coach Anthony Griffin is delighted by Moylan's return and doesn't expect the prospect of representative selection to affect him over the next two games.

Griffin says skilled second-rower Bryce Cartwright is in the same boat, with the 21-year-old largely ignoring the growing cry for a NSW promotion.

"They're level-headed guys and their job is to do their job for the team. That's what's got them to this point," Griffin said of the pair.

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