Cotric seeks Blues berth with Raiders form

Raider Nick Cotric wants to force his way into the NSW team for the State of Origin opener.
Raider Nick Cotric wants to force his way into the NSW team for the State of Origin opener.

Canberra flyer Nick Cotric wants to capitalise on the Raiders' red-hot start to the NRL season and force his way into the NSW State of Origin team.

The 4-1 Raiders are pushing for their best start to a campaign since 2003 when they host an underperforming 1-4 Brisbane at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.

Cotric, 20, has scored 29 tries in 53 appearances and been in Brad Fittler's Blues squad since last season, but is yet to make his Origin debut.

The winger will line up against Broncos behemoth Jaymayne Isaako and, if he contains the New Zealand intentional, it will only enhance his Origin claim.

"It would be a dream come true to play for the Blues," Cotric said.

"It's been a dream since I was a little kid but we'll see what happens, I've got to keep working hard and focus on the Broncos this week.

"They're a great team with some great players - (Anthony) Milford, (Tevita) Pangai, a great forward pack and backs too. They'll be firing with a couple of close losses and it'll be a tough match."

Queensland wrecking ball Josh Papalii has been the Raiders' best forward this season and said he wouldn't be surprised to face Cotric in Origin this year.

"He's definitely a talent of the NRL and he's still so young and racked up two seasons already, it would be scary for Queensland to come up against a player like Cotric," Papalii said.

"He'd hold his own in that arena. I'd back him any day, and not because we play together, but because he belongs in that arena."

Cotric hasn't missed a game since making his NRL debut as a teenager in early 2017, but the young gun emphasised he still has plenty to learn.

"I wouldn't say I'm comfortable, there's always boys trying to take your spot so you've just got to keep working on the little things and keep improving," Cotric said.

Australian Associated Press