Champion Johnathan Thurston will play his first match for the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys in over two months when he takes the field against the Parramatta Eels in Round 14 National Rugby League action in Darwin tonight.

Successfully recovered from a shoulder complaint, Thurston comes into the team from outside the named 17, with youngster Kyle Laybutt dropping out.

The game kicks off at 7.30pm (Queensland time).

COWBOYS: 1. Lachlan Coote, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Justin O’Neill, 4. Kane Linnett, 5. Antonio Winterstein, 19. Johnathan Thurston (c), 7. Michael Morgan, 8. John Asiata, 9. Jake Granville, 10. Scott Bolton, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Ethan Lowe, 13. Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14. Ben Hampton, 15. Coen Hess, 16. Shaun Fensom, 17. Ben Spina.