Brisbane star Tevita Pangai Junior, touted as a future State of Origin star, has made a stunning decision that is sure to shock the NSW Blues.
The destructive forward has put his country before his state by making himself unavailable for the NSW Blues to focus on playing for Tonga.
The Sydney-born Tongan back-rower has called NSW coach Brad Fittler just days out from the naming of the teams for the interstate blockbuster's game one to tell him of his decision to represent the Mate Ma'a.
Pangai says he made the call due to his uncertainty about his form, with the Broncos lock spending two weeks on the sidelines recently after being cited for a late hit on Sydney Roosters playmaker Cooper Cronk.
"I've called 'Freddy' (Fittler) to tell him I won't be available for NSW," Pangai told The Courier-Mail on Tuesday.
"I want to make this clear ... I was no certainty to be picked at all and I wasn't thinking I could just walk into a great NSW team, but I don't want to stuff a guy like Freddy around.
"I really appreciated Freddy's handling of it. He was really good about it and he gave me some advice on how to be more consistent. He wished me all the best and said he will consider other people."
Pangai was part of an extended 32-man squad named by Fittler last year, alongside fellow rising star Cameron Murray.
The pair are part of a queue of forwards in line for their Origin call-ups, which also includes Dale Finucane and Jordan McLean.
The coach is almost certain to be forced to make at least one change from last year's victorious squad, with Jack de Belin currently banned due to the code's new no-fault stand-down policy.
Pangai said he urged Fittler to pick two of his fellow Brisbane forwards for the series, which opens at Suncorp Stadium on June 5.
"I pushed Payne Haas and Matt Lodge to Freddy. To be honest, they are playing better footy than me and I would rather see one of them wearing that NSW Origin jumper than me," he said.
"I think it would mean more to them and I really hope they get a start for this year's series."