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Pushing for Aussie spot

NSW five-eighth Trent Barrett. Photo: AAP IMAGES
NSW five-eighth Trent Barrett. Photo: AAP IMAGES



SYDNEY (AAP): NSW five-eighth Trent Barrett is hoping a dominant performance in this year's State of Origin series will propel him back into the sights of Australian selectors.

Barrett played the last of his seven Tests against New Zealand back in 2002, but knows he has his work cut out to regain his green and gold jersey, with the rather large obstacle of Australian skipper Darren Lockyer standing in his way.

But the St George Illawarra skipper knows that if he can put in a good performance opposite Lockyer in this year's Origin series, he will strengthen his claims for a place in the squad for the end-of-year Tri-Nations series.

"Obviously, I'd still love to play for Australia, in any position, it doesn't really matter," Barrett said.

"But I'd have to be playing exceptionally well to get the five-eighth spot. It'd be big call wouldn't it.

"I'm certainly not going to come out and make any outlandish statements like that. Locky's a great player and he's the Australian captain and playing five-eighth, that would certainly be a tough one to get.

"But if I can just keep playing well those sorts of things will take care of themselves."

Barrett is back in his favoured No.6 jumper for the Blues after playing halfback in game three of last year's series inside Brad Fittler.

He hasn't played pivot for the Blues since the third game in 2002, having missed the entire 2003 series through injury.

Finally back to full fitness after a few injury-plagued years, Barrett said he felt like he was nearing his best form.

"I'm getting there, I think I can still do a few other little things that can improve my game a bit but I'm happy with the way things are going," Barrett said.