Mitchell Moses has put on three kilos over the off-season and admits in the back of his mind he’d love to break into the NSW State of Origin team this year.
But what he will not be rushing into is a decision on his future with the off-contract Wests Tigers playmaker declaring “time is on my side”.
The gifted 22-year-old will get the ideal chance to push his Origin claims on Friday night when Moses makes his All Stars debut for the World team against a star-studded Indigenous side led by Queensland superstar Johnathan Thurston.
Mitchell Moses has bulked up in the off-season. Picture: Gregg Porteous
Moses concedes he was in awe just to be standing in a group team photo alongside the likes of Thurston, Greg Inglis, and many of the game’s biggest stars.
“To play with players of this calibre, I know for myself I am going to take a lot of confidence out of this,” Moses said.
“They are the players I have looked up to since I was young, Johnathan Thurston and players like that.
“This is my first year of doing it so I will definitely take a lot of confidence out of it and hopefully take it into the Tigers this year.”
And hopefully it won’t be the last time he gets to play against Thurston in a representative game this year.
Mitchell Moses scores a try for the Wests Tigers last season. Picture: Getty Images
With the Cowboys superstar already signalling this will be his last year of rep footy, Moses said of his own Origin ambitions: “That is the goal.
“If I am playing good footy for the Tigers that is all I can control.
“That stuff will sort itself out if I am playing good enough footy and they think I am ready.”
But as for settling his own future, Moses is in no hurry.
With star teammates James Tedesco, Luke Brooks and Aaron Woods also off contract at the end of the season, Moses concedes each man must do what is best for them.
Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses have formed a dynamic duo for the Wests Tigers. Picture: Gregg Porteous
“We are really professional in that way,” he said.
“We have seen it happen at other clubs and some players get pushed out.
“If it happens it happens.
“I have left it up to my management.”
Coach Jason Taylor handed Moses control of the team last year when he cut Robbie Farah from the NRL squad and the young five-eighth’s game blossomed with the added responsibility.
Taylor is also off contract at the end of the year but Moses said he was “loving” playing under Taylor.
“It is where I made my debut and where I have played all my footy so I’d love to stay,” he said.
“I have not spoken to any other clubs. But like I said, things happen.
“Players get pushed out, things like that happen. What you get is what you get. It is completely up to my management.
“He is doing everything at the moment and he hasn’t spoken to me about one thing about contract talks. Time is on my side really. I don’t have to put a time frame on it at all.”
IT’S TIME: Moses says youth is no excuse
Moses says the Tigers will have no excuses if they don’t finish in the finals.
“We were one game short last year so we will be looking to go one better this year. I will try and do the same as last year. I will go into every game thinking there is no pressure on me at all,” he said.
“Just keep a relaxed mind and focus on the job I have to do. I feel that is when I play my best footy.”