KNIGHTS speedster Gagai appears one step closer to his green-and-gold dream after being named in the inaugural Kangaroos Origin Merit Team named by the Australian rugby league selectors.
The 17-man squad is based on performances through the State of Origin campaign, after which Gagai received the Wally Lewis Medal as player of the series.
The South Sydney-bound utility back backed up his Origin heroics with a try, 146 attacking metres and two line breaks in Saturday’s 34-22 loss to Brisbane.
If Gagai was chosen for the end-of-season World Cup, it would be a remarkable effort given the squad is likely to be dominated by players from teams involved in the finals.
Since arriving in Newcastle in 2012, Gagai has appeared in seven consecutive games for Queensland, winning three Origin series, and represented the Prime Minister’s XII in 2015. He is yet to play for Australia but is now a genuine candidate for a World Cup spot.