Thurston, Slater on track for Origin return

Queensland coach Kevin Walters has given a strong indication Maroons legends Johnathon Thurston and Billy Slater will be back for State of Origin II.

Walters said Thurston is a good chance to recover from a shoulder injury in time to line up for their do-or-die clash against NSW in Sydney on June 21.

“I’d say at the moment he’s probably 70-30 of playing,” Walters told Sky Sports Radio on Monday.


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“He’s not over the line as yet. He’s got to do some more stuff around his rehabilitation in Townsville,” Walters said.

“He’s hopeful of playing (for North Queensland) this weekend. If he plays this weekend and comes through, then that’s no dramas.”

Meanwhile, Walters confirmed Melbourne fullback Slater’s strong performance against Newcastle on Friday had boosted his chance of a recall.

“There’s no concern with Billy Slater,” Walter said.

“We’ve just seen him get better and better. That’s what we hoped would happen with Billy. He’s right back in the frame now for game II.”

Walters copped a lot of criticism for not picking Slater for Origin I which the Maroons lost 28-4.