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Dyldam Parramatta Eels centre Will Hopoate says there are no thoughts of State of Origin in his mind as the Eels prepare to head to Townsville to take on the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 8 of the Telstra Premiership.

Following the weekend’s matches, teams will be announced for NSW City and Country, as well as Australia and New Zealand for the annual ANZAC Test, meaning representative football is already at the forefront of NRL fans’ minds.

But Hopoate says he doesn’t believe he’s in line for a call up to wear the sky blue jersey: his only immediate concern is the blue and gold.

“I don’t think so,” Hopoate said of whether his early form in 2014 would catch the eyes of Origin selectors.

“Honestly I’m just trying to play good consistent footy for Parramatta and that’s really my focus at the moment.”

“The speed of the game and physicality of it has not stopped since [I was] last playing a few years back, but as each week goes by I’m feeling a bit more confident with the help of the players and the coaching staff.”

“To play outside the boys, in Chrissy and Haynesy, they can create something of nothing so I’m really enjoying playing outside the boys.”

“Monday night obviously hurt but there are things we looked at in the video that we know we can be better at, and it’s just a matter of putting it into action now [against the Cowboys].”

“They’re a great side with great weapons on the edges, and we’re really going to have to be on our game.”

“Hopefully we’ll get some Blue and Gold up there to cheer us on.”

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Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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