South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett says he'd pick embattled Brisbane star James Roberts out of reserve grade to play State of Origin for NSW.
Roberts failed to win selection in the NRL for the second straight week under first-year Broncos coach Anthony Seibold, despite the Blues centre being fit.
NSW coach Brad Fittler hasn't closed the door on Roberts, who won't play anywhere this weekend with visa issues stopped him travelling to Papua New Guinea with Queensland Cup side Wynnum-Manly.
Bennett coached Roberts at the Broncos and said he'd retain the 26-year-old in the Blues side aiming for back-to-back series wins.
"Yeah I'd pick him," Bennett said.
"It's a tragedy he's not playing football. He hasn't played for two weeks now and he's fit to play so I'd just like to see him playing football."
The Rabbitohs have more than $1 million to spend following the retirement of Greg Inglis and Bennett would not discount attempting to bring Roberts to Redfern.
"We're now in the market place but it's not something that will be done because we've got an injury here or there," Bennett said.
"It'll be about long-term planning and we'll make sure we use the money we have now wisely and make good decisions with it.
"We need outside backs, centres and wingers, that would be a priority. We'll probably need a forward as well.
"We've got to make some decisions but we're in the middle of a season so we don't want to disrupt our clubs too much and panic and go out and buy someone now."
Souths are flying at 8-1 but Bennett would not victory over the fourth-placed Raiders in Canberra on Saturday for granted.
"They came off a tough loss (to the Roosters) last week and they'll be keen to get back on track again. They're a quality football team."