NSW coach Laurie Daley admits being concerned over the fitness of prop Aaron Woods, urging the Wests Tigers captain to play this weekend before next week's State of Origin camp.
Woods is racing the clock to be fit for the Origin opener in Brisbane on May 31 after suffering a hamstring injury in round nine that had initially ruled him out for at least four weeks.
It is understood the Tigers skipper is aiming for an unlikely return in Friday's NRL clash with Brisbane, getting the match fitness Daley wants to see before he names his game one team.
'Ideally, I'd like to see him play,' Daley said on Monday.
'But that'll all come down to what we feel is best for the team and how he's tracking. I've always been a supporter of a forward playing football, especially if they've been out for a while.
'I think it'd be four weeks until his first game, so I'd like to see him, in particular with a hammy (injury), play some football. But if he doesn't, we'll have to weigh it up from there.'
Daley conceded he's also wary of Woods, who is considered a strong chance of being named captain if fit, being unavailable to train in camp in Kingscliff next week.
He said he wouldn't change his mind in wanting players to complete an entire preparation.
'That philosophy's still the same. You want guys that can train the majority of the sessions. We understand the first session you may not have them all available,' he said.
'But from your second session on, you want them where you need them to be. That'll be the path we go down again I suppose.'
Daley said he had pencilled in a team for the Suncorp Stadium clash, but would now keep an open mind following an injury to wing candidate Tom Trbojevic last weekend.
His unavailability for at least six weeks opens the door for the likes of Jarryd Hayne, Daniel Tupou and Brett Morris to partner Blake Ferguson on the flanks.
'That's the blessing, that he's only out for six to eight weeks,' Daley said of Trbojevic.
'Hopefully he can come back a little bit sooner. I'm just happy that it's not season over because he's a terrific player and great fella and you want to see our best players playing.'