Chiefs loose forward Luke Jacobson believes he's done everything needed to break into coach Ian Foster's All Blacks plans.
Since his 2019 debut, Jacobson has been limited to just 12 test caps, as a combination of injuries and other players' form have kept him out of the black jersey.
This year, Jacobson, 26, has been one of the standouts for a Chiefs side that have only been bested once heading into the Super Rugby Pacific playoffs and must surely be in Foster's consideration for the 33-man squad to head to France.
Capable of playing both at No.6 and No.8, Jacobson would give the All Blacks options in the forward pack, contending with the likes of Akira Ioane, Ethan Blackadder and Shannon Frizell for a place in the squad.
If Super Rugby form is what ultimately decides places, his case will be hard to ignore. Jacobson has played in 11 of the Chiefs' regular season games this year, averaging 77 minutes per game.
While he believes he has what it takes to return to the All Blacks for the first time since 2021, Jacobson concedes his fate ultimately lies in the hands of the coaches and selectors.
"I think I'm good enough to be there," Jacobson told Newshub. "I've been there in the past.
"I feel like I've been playing reasonably well, but that's not up to me to decide, that's up to the coaches.
"What they pick decides that, at the end of the day."
Should Jacobson head to France, it would begin to make up for his heartbreak of four years ago. After making his test debut in the 2019 Rugby Championship, he was ruled out of the World Cup bid in Japan with concussion.
Four years older and wiser, Jacobson now knows he can only control what he can control in the race for selection.
"It was really disappointing four years ago, getting sent home - but it was also very exciting getting named in the squad initially.
"I'd be really keen to get back in there and try to live that campaign I missed four years ago, but I can't do much about it, except for go out on the weekends and play as well as I can.
"Hopefully, everything else will take care of itself."
As the day of the All Blacks' first squad announcement of the year draws closer, Jacobson says there's been no contact from Foster - not that he's bothered by it.
"In the past, I've never really known anything - I'm not reading into it too much," he said. "I feel like the more you look into it, the more you get consumed by it.
"It's pretty easy to just focus on the Chiefs at the moment, we've been going good and it's enjoyable to play for.
"I'm keeping the focus on that, other things will fall into place."
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