Laurie Daley rates this year's NSW rugby league selection room dilemma as the greatest he's encountered and has established a hot field of 23 candidates to wear the sky blue.
Three months out from the 2017 State of Origin opener, the Blues mentor is rubbing his hands together at the selection jigsaw he has in front of him.
After blooding eight debutants last year, including the highly impressive Wade Graham, Tyson Frizell, James Tedesco and Matt Moylan, the Blues have at their disposal depth not enjoyed since Queensland's era of dominance began in 2006.
As well, the likes of Jake Trbojevic, Trent Merrin and Shannon Boyd put their hands up after being selected in Australia's Four Nations touring party, despite missing state selection last year.
Add recently returned cope-hopper Jarryd Hayne and emerging Manly gun Tom Trbojevic and the Blues selectors are facing a mammoth task to whittle down their squad to 17.
"This will be the most challenging year in terms of selection we've had because I believe we'll have plenty of depth," Daley said at the NSWRL season launch.
"Just because we've got depth doesn't guarantee wins. But what I can guarantee is that the players we will have available will be the best."
The end result, Daley predicts, will be the team having a lot more points in them - having been criticised for being too defensively-minded during his first three series in charge.
The size of the selection battle is highlighted by the fact Daley has five fullbacks - Tedesco, Moylan, Hayne, Tom Trbojevic and Josh Dugan - all knocking on the door.
Daley has stated he is not afraid to pick his quintet of gun No.1s out of position with Moylan shaping as a five-eighth option and the other four capable of playing at centre or wing.
His halves battle is still up in the air but James Maloney seems a leading contender after playing all three games last year and leading Cronulla to a maiden NRL title.
Adam Reynolds played Origins I and II before succumbing to a back injury, with Moylan stepping into the No.6 jersey for the game three dead rubber.
And Mitchell Pearce has recovered from his horror 2016 and is looking to reclaim his Blues jumper.
Daley said he had a pool of players he intended to pick from, though wouldn't rule out selecting a bolter should they emerge in the first 11 rounds.
"In your mind you have a squad of 22 or 23 players that you probably will pick from," Daley said.
"There are guys that played well last year and if they play well this year, and other guys drop off, they certainly come into calculations.
"You're not settled but in your mind you have a group that you think you'll select from. But that can change pretty quickly."
THE BLUES CONTENDERS
A prediction of who's in the running for which positions for NSW during the 2017 Origin series:
1. James Tedesco/Jarryd Hayne/Matt Moylan/Tom Trbojevic
2. Tom Trbojevic/Josh Mansour
3. Jarryd Hayne/Michael Jennings
4. Josh Dugan
5. Blake Ferguson
6. James Maloney/Matt Moylan
7. Adam Reynolds/James Maloney
8. Aaron Woods
9. Robbie Farah
10. David Klemmer
11. Boyd Cordner/Tyson Frizell/Wade Graham
12. Josh Jackson
13. Trent Merrin/Tyson Frizell
14. Jack Bird/Tyrone Peachey/Matt Moylan
15. Andrew Fifita
16. Bryce Cartwright/Jake Trbojevic
17. James Tamou/Shannon Boyd
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