Johnathan Thurston has ruled out making a shock State of Origin comeback in the wake of Cameron Smith's decision to retire from the representative arena.
The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys halfback played his final match in a Maroons jersey in game two of last year's series and today firmly shot down suggestions he could return to assume the Queensland captaincy in Smith's absence.
"My representative career is well and truly over, let me make that clear," Thurston said.
"I'm no chance, [Kevin Walters] would be really scraping the barrel coming back to me.
"We've got some really exciting halves playing at the moment. Cameron Munster is on fire at Melbourne, Benny Hunt is on fire at St George, Michael Morgan has played in that role before and can get the job done, [Daly Cherry-Evans] has played Origin before and so had Anthony Milford so we've got loads of depth there.
"It's a new era for the Queensland team and I'm really excited for what lies ahead."
Pressed on the Cowboys' tough start to the season, Thurston admitted his side had put itself in a difficult position, but was fully confident it's one they can fight their way out of.
The Cowboys begin a two-game home stand at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday evening when they take on the Rabbitohs at 5.30pm.
"We've just got to fight and scrap for everything," he said.
"With the players we have in this team it's only a matter of time before it starts clicking and hopefully that's this weekend.
"We've had a really good week of training and now we've got to convert that on to the paddock on Saturday night."
Match: Cowboys v Rabbitohs
Round 11 -
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium
- LIVE PASS