Thurston joins Maroons staff

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston will join the Queensland Maroons' coaching and support staff for next year's State of Origin series.

Thurston will be involved in a coaching and mentoring capacity throughout different stages of the series, along with fellow retiree Billy Slater.

The Cowboys life member and club games record-holder will be also be joined by former Maroons teammates Justin Hodges (assistant coach) and Petero Civoniceva (team manager) in Maroons camp.

Together, the decorated Queensland quartet played an astonishing 125 State of Origin matches for the Maroons.

Maroons coach Kevin Walters today confirmed the addition of the four former Maroons as part of a "fresh approach" ahead of Queensland's 2019 campaign.

While Walters is excited about the opportunity to inject such an illustrious group into Camp Maroon, he acknowledged the enormity of having to let go Queensland stalwarts Trevor Gillmeister and Tony Spencer.

"Trevor Gillmeister is a Queensland legend and Tony has worked tirelessly with the team for nearly 20 years as a trainer," Walters said.

"They have been great servants, but I just felt that the time was right to get fresh faces in and around the team with the next generation of players coming through."

Melbourne Storm's Matthew Barradeen is the new trainer, while Hodges replaces Josh Hannay.

2019 STATE OF ORIGIN

Game 1: Wednesday 5 June, Suncorp Stadium
Game 2: Saturday 23 June, Perth Stadium
Game 3: Wednesday 10 July, ANZ Stadium

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