JT preparing for 29th Origin game
Toyota Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston will take over seventh place for most State of Origin appearances for Queensland after being included tonight in the Maroons' extended squad of 22 for game two of the 2014 series in Sydney on Wednesday week.
The record holder for most consecutive Origin matches, Thurston will be contesting his 29th Origin clash to move one game ahead with Steve Price, who played for the Maroons between 1998 and 2009.
After not registering a point in the series opener, the champion five-eighth still needs to score just four points at Suncorp Stadium to overtake Mal Meninga’s record for most State of Origin points for Queensland.
As expected, all three Cowboys who played for Queensland in game one have been selected for game two with Matthew Scott continuing in the front-row and Brent Tate on the wing.
This will be Tate’s 23rd Origin match and Scott’s 16th.
“We’re taking a little bit of a different tack (with selection) because of the current injury situation,” QRL Chairman Peter Betros explained.
“We normally announce 19 players but tonight, because of the uncertainty over several players, we’re going to announce 22 players.
“As the week goes on and the injury situation becomes clearer, Mal (Meninga) will finalise the team and get it down to the required number.”
After missing game one with a calf injury, Broncos forward Sam Thaiday is back in the fold, while ex-Cowboys Jacob Lillyman (Warriors) and Willie Tonga (Parramatta) return to Camp Maroon.
QAS Emerging Origin Squad member Anthony Milford and Broncos halfback Ben Hunt are the newcomers to the senior Maroons squad.
The Maroons’ main injury doubts are Billy Slater, Daly Cherry-Evans and Greg Inglis.
The New South Wales squad will be named at lunchtime on Tuesday.
Darius Boyd, Newcastle Knights
Will Chambers, Melbourne Storm
Daly Cherry-Evans, Manly Sea Eagles
Matt Gillett, Brisbane Broncos
Aidan Guerra, Sydney Roosters
Justin Hodges, Brisbane Broncos
Ben Hunt, Brisbane Broncos
Greg Inglis, South Sydney Rabbitohs
Jacob Lillyman, New Zealand Warriors
Chris McQueen, South Sydney Rabbitohs
Anthony Milford, Canberra Raiders
Nate Myles, Gold Coast Titans
Josh Papalii, Canberra Raiders
Corey Parker, Brisbane Broncos
Matt Scott, North Queensland Cowboys
Billy Slater, Melbourne Storm
Cameron Smith, Melbourne Storm
Brent Tate, North Queensland Cowboys
Ben Te'o, South Sydney Rabbitohs
Sam Thaiday, Brisbane Broncos
Johnathan Thurston, North Queensland Cowboys
Willie Tonga, Parramatta Eels