Injured Thurston still playing role in Origin
HERE is a sight for sore eyes.
Queensland legend Johnathan Thurston made his first appearance in Camp Maroon on Sunday.
With his arm in a sling, Thurston watched on as the Maroons ran a physical opposed session against the Broncos under-20s at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast.
Thurston will miss what was supposed to be his farewell Origin match at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.
Maroons coach Kevin Walters invited him into camp to extract every bit of knowledge from the 37-game veteran who will mentor his replacement in the No. 6 jersey, debutant Cameron Munster.
Thurston, 34, created a piece of State of Origin history with his sideline conversion in Game Two to send the series to a decider.
He has pleaded for the Maroons to not use him as motivation but centre Michael Morgan said Queensland wanted to send him out a winner.
"To finish it the way he did - as a champion - is what he deserved,” Morgan said.
"You still want to make it a good series, so that you can say he won his last series as an Origin player.
"So there's a bit of motivation there still.”
Thurston played a record 36 consecutive Origin games since his debut in 2005 and admits he is not a good spectator.
He will be in the coaches box with Walters and said he had to restrain himself in a professional environment.
"I've been better lately,” he said.
"I'm probably better in the coaches box than at home. My wife (Samantha) always tells me to be quiet when I'm at home.
"I'm a lot calmer in there.”
Thurston had one key message for the Maroons in the final days before the game.
"It's always been about getting your individual preparation right for the team,” he said.