Hard-working Titans lock Jai Arrow says if you'd told him 12 weeks ago his club form at the Titans would have propelled him into genuine consideration for an Origin debut he wouldn't have believed it.
But with the Maroons rocked by injury and suspension to back-rowers and middle forwards; Matt Gillett (neck) is out and Josh McGuire (ankle) is racing the clock and would not have played in six weeks if selected while Matt Scott (shoulder charge) needs a successful judiciary challenge to be available.
Tim Glasby has also only recently returned from a broken thumb while the likes of Gavin Cooper and Coen Hess are not in the same sort of form as last year.
Speaking after another big individual performance in his team's eventual 34-14 loss to the Roosters at Gosford on Saturday, in which he racked up 33 tackles and 160 metres before being taken off with a shoulder injury, Arrow admitted the Origin talk had been hard to ignore recently.
"Leading up to the week I wasn't too worried about it but I would be lying if I told you I wasn't thinking about it," the 22-year-old Burleigh Bears junior said.
"It's something I want to do and want to challenge myself but I won't be disappointed if I don't get picked.
"I totally understand that the team has been so successful over the past decade and then some. But even if I just get the opportunity to meet the boys that would go a long way towards me learning a lot and hopefully excelling my game."
Match Highlights: Roosters v Titans - Round 12, 2018
Arrow was still shaking his head about even being in the conversation.
"I came down here to [to the Titans] try and prove myself in the NRL. To have my name thrown up in Origin is pretty special and something I'm relishing," he said.
"[I'm] still pinching myself about. I never thought that I would even go close to it. Now that I am I just want to be a better player week in week out and learn off the older guys in our team and take that on the field."
Arrow admitted receiving a phone call from Maroons coach Kevin Walters a few weeks ago and not even having the former Broncos assistant's number in his phone at the time.
Titans press conference - Round 12
"I didn't have his number and at first I just went along with it just trying to figure out who it was!" he laughed.
"I was trying to work out who it was and then I did realise and I was like, 'oh crap!' I started freaking out.
"But I've definitely saved it now and I'm hopefully waiting for that call. But I'm not worried about that, I'm just worried about putting in good performances for the Titans."