OF all Trent Hodkinson’s attributes, it is not his classy ball-playing, organisational ability or radar-like goalkicking that has earned him six Origin games for NSW.
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RELAXED: Knights co-captain Trent Hodkinson is putting no extra pressure on himself to push for an Origin position. Picture: Getty Images

More than anything, it has been his cool head under pressure.

And as the Newcastle co-captain and incumbent Blues halfback prepares for Saturday’s clash with Wests Tigers at Campbelltown –his last chance to state a case for retention –he could hardly appear more relaxed about the subject of Origin I, 2016.

Blues coach Laurie Daley will name his squad on Monday, and if media speculation is accurate, either South Sydney’s Adam Reynolds or the Roosters’ Mitchell Pearce will be allocated the No.7 jersey.

If that is the case, Hodkinson is not losing any sleep over it.

“It always is in the back of your mind, because at this time of year it’s everywhere,’’ Hodkinson said on Friday.

“It’s hard to avoid it.

“But being at a new club and obviously coming off a couple of poor losses, my focus is this weekend and on the Tigers.’’

If Daley intends to pick Hodkinson, he has not been forthcoming with that information.

“There hasn’t been any chat or what-notbetween me and Laurie, but I’ll try and do my talking on the field this week,’’ he said.“Whatever happens, happens.’’

Hodkinson missed last week’s 62-0 flogging by Cronulla with a knee injury but, after a week of physiotherapy, said he was able to train on Friday without inconvenience.

“I got through really well,’’ he said. “I trained earlier in the week, on Wednesday, as well and it’s pulled up really well.I’ve been back and done everything with the boys …I’ve just got to be a bit smarter and pull back a bit and get the maintenance things right.’’

Hodkinson’s return means 18-year-old Jack Cogger is likely to drop back and skipper Newcastle’s under-20s.

Giant forward Pauli Pauli is also expected to return to Newcastle’s squad, along with either David Bhana or Josh King, to cover for the likely absences of Jacob Saifiti (wrist) and Sam Mataora.

Newcastle are at a low ebb, having conceded 179 points and scored only 10 in their past four games, but will be hoping to repeat their 18-16 win against the Tigers in round five.The Knights have won three straight games against the Tigers and five of their past six.

Knights forward Jack Stockwell said his teammates were not dwelling on the loss to Cronulla.

“The head space is good,’’ Stockwell said. “We haven’t talked too much about what happened on the weekend. We just want to put it in the past.’’