NRL 1 year ago

Thurston happy with bulk from Origin bench

  • Thurston happy with bulk from Origin bench

    BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 22: Corey Parker of the Maroons celebrates victory with team mates Johnathan Thurston and Matt Gillett after game two of the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on June 22, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The thought of Queensland unleashing an all forwards bench agrees with Johnathan Thurston ahead of Wednesday's State of Origin III in Sydney.

But the Maroons playmaker admits he would have interchange utility Michael Morgan back in a heartbeat.

Injury to Morgan (knee) has forced Queensland to break from their winning formula and ditch the bench utility role for game three at ANZ Stadium.

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Veteran prop Nate Myles has overcome a knee injury and been pitch forked into the starting side, ensuring an all forwards bench for Queensland.

In an unusual move for the Maroons, coach Kevin Walters has gone for a powerhouse interchange featuring Test prop Josh McGuire, Aidan Guerra, rookie back-rower Gavin Cooper and Jacob Lillyman.

Thurston believed Cooper, Guerra and retiring lock Corey Parker could provide utility value in Morgan's absence.

"We have players in the team who can play different roles if needs be," he said.

"I think an all forwards bench is the way to go for game three.

"But in saying that if Morgo was fit I would want him on the bench."

Queensland confirmed late on Friday that Myles would overcome injury and start game three.

Walters said 30-game Origin veteran Myles should now be compared with Queensland great Petero Civoniceva.

"That's crazy," Myles said when told of Walters' comparison.

"It is phenomenal. I have received support from a lot of respected guys in the game.

"I am comforted by that but it also makes me want to come out and do better."

Myles missed Queensland's series-sealing 26-16 game two win in Brisbane due to injury.

It sparked speculation Myles may be nearing the end of his Origin career.

But the Maroons veteran said missing out on game two had only made him more determined to hang onto his Queensland jersey, even at 31 years old.

"It was the longest I have ever spent watching a football game (on TV)," Myles said of watching game two at home.

"I was a rollercoaster. I wasn't much fun - I was all over the shop.

"It was a bit of an eye opener too.

"It made me realise you have to cherish every (Origin) game."

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