I can still play at Origin level: Morris

In-form Cronulla NRL centre Josh Morris says he is ready to come out of representative retirement.
In-form Cronulla NRL centre Josh Morris says he is ready to come out of representative retirement.

Cameron Smith may not want to come out of representative retirement but Josh Morris has no qualms answering a phone call to help save his state.

Morris has rocketed into NSW State of Origin calculations following the shock axing of incumbent centre James Roberts to reserve grade last week.

And while Morris is yet to hear from Blues coach Brad Fittler, the in-form Cronulla three-quarter will have no hesitation picking up a phone call.

"Yeah, you'd have to consider it," Morris said on Thursday.

"But that's the least of my worries. The past two years I've focused on club land and it's been good for me to produce my most consistent footy.

"I'll just keep doing the same thing."

With Roberts still in reserve grade this week, Fittler has just two rounds to find a centre before he announces his team for game one.

Further complicating matters are injuries to centre candidates Jack Bird and Joey Leilua, while Waqa Blake was also dropped to reserve grade last week.

"Obviously there's a fair bit of media speculation, there's a lot of centres going down and I really feel sorry for those fellas," Morris said.

Morris' unlikely return comes almost two years after calling time on his representative career, which includes six appearances for Australia.

He played 14 Origin games for the Blues, including a memorable defensive performance in game one of the their drought-breaking 2014 series victory.

Morris felt he made the right decision quitting from the representative arena.

"The body wasn't feeling that good and it takes a lot out of you, the Origin series. It's definitely mentally draining, and I just thought it was the right time," he said.

"There was some good kids coming through and we've seen them go on to win a series. I was happy with my decision and I still am."

Still, the 32-year-old has found a new lease of life since moving to the Shire over the summer, leading the club in tries and line breaks.

Asked whether he believed he could still perform if called upon, Morris said: "I still think I'd be capable of playing at that level, but it hasn't even been a focus.

"It hasn't been a thought. I've just been thinking about my club footy and that's really served me well. I don't over complicate it.

"I don't have that added pressure on myself and I can just go out there and perform my best for the club each week."

Australian Associated Press