Chris McQueen is confident he'll find room on his heavily tattooed body for his Queensland player number when his State of Origin days are over.

Of all the tattoos that cover Maroons backrower McQueen, the most recognisable is the huge "1070" on his neck, his South Sydney player number.

His Queensland player - No.175 - will mean just as much when added after the sun sets on his Origin career.

McQueen admits he sweated bullets fearing that day had come prematurely after making his debut off the bench in Queensland's disappointing 14-6 game one loss in Sydney.

"I was a little bit worried after that first game. I wasn't sure what was going to happen (with selection for game two)," said McQueen on Sunday.

"We played the Titans in Cairns (after Origin I) and I knew I wouldn't find out what was happening until after that game.

"We were at the airport when I found out I was given the nod.

"I was hoping to retain my place on the bench but (coach) Mal (Meninga) saw something different."

Instead of being cut, McQueen was promoted to the starting backrow and he stood tall as Queensland turned the series on its head with a ruthless 26-6 thumping of NSW in Brisbane.

Now he has emerged as a key to Queensland sealing an eighth straight series victory in Sydney on Wednesday night.

"I was just thinking about it the other day. Six weeks ago when my name was being tossed around for Origin I wasn't sure whether it was going to happen," he said.

"Now I am secondrower in their run-on side. I am still a bit shocked, I don't know what to say."

McQueen admitted he risked "looking a bit of a fool" boasting the 1070 tattoo after two knee reconstructions and a difficult transition from winger to backrower threatened to stall his South Sydney career.

No wonder he is waiting for his Origin days to finish before committing to a new tattoo.

"This is my first series so I can't get an 'eight' tattooed somewhere (if Queensland win game three on Wednesday night)," he said with a laugh.

"Hopefully I am in this Origin arena for a few more years so who knows what is going to happen.

"But there will definitely be room somewhere on my body for my Origin number."