It's been a big eight months for Ryan Matterson.
He won a premiership with the Sydney Roosters, he then changed clubs to the Wests Tigers, and now he finds himself in Brad Fittler's NSW Blues squad.
The 24-year-old back row utility was named on Monday as 18th man for Origin next week.
"It is really exciting, isn't it?" Matterson told NRL.com.
He only made his first-grade debut in 2016 so he's packed a lot into his first 71 games over three and a bit years.
He was picked in Fittler's City Origin squad in 2016 before his Roosters career got into double figures. He ended up scoring a try and setting up another in the 44-30 win over Country.
So the Blues training jumper he was proudly wearing at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence training field on Tuesday is not his first senior rep jumper.
From his junior days he was part of the NSW Under-20s team in 2014 – alongside current Blues team-mate Jake Trbojevic.
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"We won that game too," Matterson said, before being named in the Junior Kangaroos side.
"It just feels like the last few years have gone really quick, but it also feels slow at the same time. Maybe because I feel like I'm learning so much, especially under new coaches.
"I sit back and think things are going really fast. But then I look back at my time at the Roosters, now my half-season already at the Tigers and now I'm in a Blues camp.
"I'm just here as a sponge trying to soak up as much as I can, and enjoy the ride."
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Matterson is eternally grateful for what he learned under Trent Robinson; what he is currently taking on board with Tigers and Kiwis Test coach Michael Maguire; and what Fittler has in store for him, alongside his assistants Danny Buderus, Greg Alexander and Andrew Johns.
"If I'm going to learn something it'll be from these blokes. They've done everything in the game. I'm so grateful to be here."
As for the opener of the 2019 Holden State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday, Matterson is preparing as hard as he can regardless of the likelihood he won't take the field.
"I want to be able to get to a stage that if a spot does open, I want to grab that with both hands," he said.
"So I'm going to train as if I'm going to play. I want to be prepared as I can be. If I end up playing that's a huge bonus and if I don't, I'm still thrilled to be here.
"The main thing is too that when you go back to your club, you want to be playing even better footy then when you left.
"That's the thing – you've got an expectation to hold (with Blues selectors). I want to keep on their radar.
"If I don't play next week, I'll go back to the Tigers and put my best foot forward and see what might happen."
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