ANDREW Johns is privately considering making himself available for a shock comeback to State of Origin this year. The Daily Telegraph can reveal Johns is telling friends of a burning desire to return and represent NSW again in what could be his final season in Australia. Johns was not commenting yesterday but sources indicate he desperately missed playing Origin last year and wants to help NSW avenge the 2006 series loss to Queensland. But there are some obstacles to leap before a possible Johns comeback - his individual form and that of the Knights. If Johns' form is strong over the first six weeks of the premiership and Newcastle are winning, then he is a real chance to return. If his form is down, his body is struggling and the Knights are battling, he would remain in representative retirement. Johns' Knights contract states he cannot play representative football but, given his standing in Newcastle, he would have little trouble gaining an exemption. Rated by some as the greatest player of all time, Johns retired from representative football after the 2005 Origin series. He received an exemption last year to represent Australia in the April Test against New Zealand. This year will almost certainly be Johns' last in the NRL - although he is contracted until the end of 2008 - before he heads to England for a probable stint with Warrington. "I think if a player like Andrew is still capable of playing State of Origin, then it would enter his head that he has pulled the pin too early," brother Matthew said. But Matthew warned: "Andrew could be feeling tired through the middle stages of the season and it will depend whether he has the energy mentally and physically." One source close to Johns told The Daily Telegraph: "Origin has certainly entered Joey's mind." NSW coach Graham Murray added: "If Joey does make himself available, I'm sure the selectors would take a real close look at him." ARL chief executive Geoff Carr said Johns is officially retired from rep football. "He has retired from rep football and we respect his decision," Carr said. "We're not in a position to comment (on a comeback) because he has in fact retired." Knights football manager Steve Crowe confirmed the clause in Johns' contract forbidding him to play rep football. "We won't consider that (relaxing the clause) until it becomes an issue or an official request," Crowe said. "It wouldn't be something we would discuss in January, only if and when it becomes an issue." There are no suggestions that Johns wants to return and play for Australia in the Anzac Test against New Zealand in April. Johns' manager John Fordham said his client had not committed to Origin this year. "There's no player more passionate about Origin than Andrew Johns," Fordham said. "He really missed playing Origin last year and when he was approached to cover injuries on the eve of Origin I he thought about it long and hard before declining the invitation. "You would, however, have to say the likelihood of him making an Origin comeback in 2007 are extremely remote, especially as he has been formally granted an exemption from representative football as well as having a clause in his Knights contract ruling him out of playing Origin from 2006 onwards."