Origin Training Thursday
Origin Training Thursday

Maroons’ pick for No.1 to get JT’s full backing

Maroons legend Johnathan Thurston says whoever gets the nod for the Queensland No.1 jersey in Game Three will come down to who can complement the halves the best.

The Maroons' Game Three preparations were dealt a massive blow over the weekend, with superstar fullback Kalyn Ponga ruled out of the series decider following scans on his injured calf.

While Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster has been touted to play fullback for the Maroons next Wednesday night, (after he spent most of Tuesday's first training session in the position), teammates Michael Morgan, Moses Mbye and debutant Corey Norman are also a chance to play at the back.

"I haven't spoken to Kevvie (Maroons coach Kevin Walters) about it, but they're in camp now so there's no doubt they'll be talking with the senior players and seeing who would be best suited for the style of play that we want to get right," the retired star said.

"We've got a number of guys that could certainly play there, but we just need to make sure that we get the balance of the team right for the players that are there.

"Fullback is such an influential position - we need to make sure we get it right."

Johnathan Thurston and Maroons utility Moses Mbye. Pics Adam Head
Johnathan Thurston and Maroons utility Moses Mbye. Pics Adam Head


Thurston, who was in Cairns yesterday to launch the Johnathan Thurston Academy's first camp for children from the region's communities, will join Camp Maroon this Friday.

"Hopefully, the boys will have that all sorted out by then and we can hit the ground running when I get there with working on the type of footy we want to execute," he said.

The North Queensland Cowboys champion playmaker said he would be working with players in their attacking sessions.

"I certainly want to bring in some structures that they'll hopefully execute," he said.

"I've spoken to Kevvie and Hodgy (Maroons assistant coach Justin Hodges) about how we want to play and we're all pretty keen on it, so they'll get that done early in the week and when I get there we can put the finishing touches on it."

Thurston said he believed the Maroons would come out a very different team from the one that was defeated 38-6 in Game Two in Perth.

"It was definitely disappointing and very un-Queensland like," he said.

"They've now got an opportunity to redeem themselves and really do something good about next week. I can't wait."