ORIGIN II: Thurston back for Maroons with eye to level series

Queensland superstar Johnathan Thurston has been named for State of Origin II, as the Maroons look to  fresh blood to level the series.

Coach Kevin Walters has just fronted a media conference confirming the side for next Wednesday’s do-or-die clash against New South Wales.

Thurston missed Game I through injury – his first time on the sidelines of Origin since 2005.


Star Melbourne fullback Billy Slater will also return, after sitting out last year due to injury, as will Gavin Cooper.

While Valentine Holmes and Coen Hess are set to make their Origin debuts after being named in the new-look side that will take on the Blues at Allianz Stadium.

It’s hoped Titans player Jarrod Wallace will be cleared of a shoulder charge at the NRL judiciary this week and also pull on the maroon jersey for the first time.

If unsuccessful, Tim Glasby will take his place.

Brisbane veteran Sam Thaiday has been left out the team, as has Justin O’Neill, Corey Oates, Nate Myles, Anthony Milford and Jacob Lillyman.

Queensland Maroons for Origin II

Billy Slater – Melbourne Storm
Darius Boyd – Brisbane Broncos
Will Chambers – Melbourne Storm
Dane Gagai – Newcastle Knights
Valentine Holmes – Cronulla Sharks
Johnathan Thurston – North Qld Cowboys
Cooper Cronk – Melbourne Storm
Jarrod Wallace – Gold Coast Titans
Cameron Smith – Melbourne Storm
Josh Papalii – Canberra Raiders
Gavin Cooper – North Qld Cowboys
Matt Gillett – Brisbane Broncos
Josh McGuire – Brisbane Broncos
Michael Morgan – North Qld Cowboys
Dylan Napa – Sydney Roosters
Coen Hess – North Qld Cowboys
Tim Glasby – Melbourne Storm