His name might be fading from discussion on who the NSW halves will be in the 2018 Holden State of Origin series but Luke Brooks is still flattered he was mentioned.
"Whoever they pick will deserve it," Brooks said ahead of the Tigers' clash with the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
"I'd love to get the chance to play [Origin] one day."
NSW and Queensland will unveil their teams on Monday for the Origin opener on June 6 at the MCG.
"I don't really mind. I'm happy to play for the Tigers and hopefully good footy for them," Brooks said.
"At the start of the year it was the thing probably furthest from my mind. The past couple of weeks I've heard my name bandied around. But it won't be too bad for me personally if I'm not picked.
"Freddy (Blues coach Brad Fittler) hasn't spoken to me but just to get mentioned is good. It shows that I am playing good footy."
Brooks knows he came closer this year to Origin than ever before.
"I'd say so. Once or twice my name has been there but once you play some good footy your name is tossed around more," he said.
"It is a testament to Ivan [Cleary coach] and what he's done for my game but also to the players around me. They've been in good form as well."
Brooks missing out means the Tigers retain their chief playmaker in mint condition during the rigorous Origin period.
The Tigers face the Sydney Roosters, who could have three or four players in NSW camp, the weekend before Origin and then play Cronulla four days later.
After game three the Tigers face the Dragons (July 15), who could have up to six players backing up.
"It looks like teams like the Dragons and Panthers will have a few out," Brooks said, almost salivating at the prospect of taking on depleted opposition.
"But I think we might lose Esan Marsters to the Kiwis, Russell Packer and maybe Ben Matuilino. But we'll see what happens."
New Zealand takes on England in the USA Test on the game two stand-alone weekend, so the Tigers might not be immune completely from representative fall-out.