City Origin winger Josh Mansour couldn't help but feel disappointed when Australian coach Mal Meninga read out Semi Radradra and Blake Ferguson's names instead of his at last week's Test team announcement.
Radradra and Ferguson will make their Kangaroos debuts against the Kiwis on Friday night after Mansour was denied his fifth Australian test cap.
Mansour's performances for the Panthers so far this year provided Meninga a compelling case for the St Johns Eagles junior's selection.
The 25-year-old is currently averaging almost 30 metres more than Radradra (166.8 to 137.3) while Ferguson is struggling to crack 100 metres per game currently.
"I was a bit disappointed but in saying that both wingers deserve their spots. I'm not going to kick stones. To be given a City jersey and an opportunity to play is definitely fulfilling as well," Mansour said.
"It's going to be a great experience for myself with it being my City debut so I can't wait to have a big game against Country. We have a young bunch of players here and to play with a few of my Penrith teammates is going to be very good too."
After an injury-ravaged 2015 season – where he was restricted to 12 games – Mansour is yet to miss a game this year and is steadily building towards an Origin debut.
The Panthers winger has been in discussions with New South Wales coach Laurie Daley in recent times but is focused on doing a job for City Origin first and foremost.
"To be given a shot here is a massive step for me into representative footy again. One of my biggest goals is to play Origin so I'm chasing a big game this Sunday and hopefully everything will fall into place," Mansour said.
"I don't want to get my hopes up [about an Origin debut] at this point. What I've been doing this year has got me this far so I have to keep doing what I've been doing and if anything get better at it.
"I'm full of confidence and happy with my form so far this year. Penrith have had a rollercoaster of a year but personally I still have a lot to offer. I know what Laurie wants from me and I'm in this team because I deserve to be here.
"I'm keen to keep doing what I have to do to get that Origin jersey later in the year."
This article first appeared on NRL.com.