Bulldogs prop Dylan Napa will look to ignite his bid for a Queensland jersey by getting one over Origin rival David Klemmer at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Napa started 2019 powerfully after his off-season shift from Bondi but suffered a syndesmosis injury in round four, which sidelined him for three weeks.
The Bulldogs were out-enthused by Manly in Napa's round eight return and the veteran of five Origin games is out to correct that problem when he faces Klemmer and the Knights as he targets a return to the Queensland jersey.
"I missed the mark a bit last week," Napa said.
"At the start of the game their go-forward was what let us down at the end of the game because they scored two tries in the first 15 minutes and we were lucky to hold on there for the rest of the game."
The battle against Klemmer will be nothing new, with the two having gone toe-to-toe for the best part of a decade.
Klemmer ready to face old Bulldogs teammates
"I've been playing against big Klem probably since I was 18, so eight or nine years now," Napa said.
"You don't miss him on the field, he's a big lad and it usually takes more than one to stop him.
"There's no secret how he plays, he plays straight up the guts and he keeps coming all game. We've done what we think is best for our team to stop his momentum but it will be a hard task."
Napa's conversations with Maroons coach Kevin Walters have mostly been around keeping him updated on his injury progress.
"I just spoke to him about my health. If I can get back to playing some pretty good footy and get some minutes out, it all comes back to playing good footy for your club," Napa said.
Bulldogs v Knights - Round 9
Napa played five Origins straight after debuting in game one of 2017, but missed game three last year with an ankle injury.
It ended up being the only game of the series Queensland won, putting him in the position of having to force his way back into the team, with Jai Arrow and Josh Papalii excelling in their promotion to the starting prop roles.
"I've just got to help this team go forward and try and get some wins for this team because obviously personal success comes off the back of team success," Napa added.
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about Origin because it's something I was a part of the last couple of years and I'm hoping to be part of it again."
The threat posed by Newcastle isn't limited to Klemmer, with playmakers Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga among the side's best in their back-to-back wins over the Eels and Warriors.
"They've got two on the trot now, Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga are playing good football," Napa said.
"Their combination is starting to come to light, it's something we've addressed and we're going to have to be wary. Kalyn over the last couple of years is an absolute stud out there, he's a beast."