Queensland's Johnathan Thurston ruled out of State of Origin opener

Nick Mcbride
May 28, 2017

While disappointed at missing out on an opportunity to add to his remarkable tally of 36 consecutive Origin appearances, Thurston is excited about the chance to watch Anthony Milford on debut.

Star Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston has been ruled out of next week's State of Origin opener.

The dramatic about-face came after Thurston had new scans on Wednesday night following testing on the troublesome shoulder.

"I'm hoping to be back for the Eels game, but like I said yesterday, if it's not right then I won't be putting myself or the team at risk".

"I didn't want to believe it until this morning - I had the worst sleep last night. I am relieved that the doc has taken it out of my hands because I was keen on playing".

Thurston will miss Wednesday night's Origin I and is no guarantee of playing game two on June 21 at ANZ Stadium.

Thurston will remain with the Maroons squad on the Gold coast to help Milford with his preparations.

Thurston was named the Maroons' 18th man on Monday, but he confirmed Thursday he would not play in the May 31 match at Brisbane.

Anthony Milford will make his Queensland debut, although it's yet to be confirmed whether it will be in the run-on side or from the bench paving the way for Michael Morgan to start.

In the absence of Ben Hunt the past five weeks at the Broncos Milford has been required to take on greater responsibility for the running of the team, something Cronk says he won't have to worry about against the Blues. "He can now have that clarity and start preparing", Thurston said.

"He knows that he is playing".

"Just go back through history, Queensland haven't had the best list of players on paper but they have had the effort and that is what Origin is about".

Milford will slot into a Queensland outfit also without stalwarts Matt Scott (knee), Corey Parker (retired), Billy Slater (overlooked) and Greg Inglis (knee).

Cronk warned NSW to underrate the new-look Maroons team at their peril. "I'm not anxious about my fitness, if they do target me we've got the players around me to help me out".

Other reports by VgToday

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