Johnathan Thurston has been ruled out of the opening match of the 2017 Holden State of Origin series, the XXXX Queensland Maroons confirmed today. 

“I’m devastated I won’t be playing next week, but the call needed to be made and it’s the right decision for the team,” Thurston said from Camp Maroon on the Gold Coast this morning.

While disappointed at missing out on an opportunity to add to his remarkable tally of 36 consecutive Origin appearances, Thurston is excited about the chance to watch Anthony Milford on debut.

“He’s a dynamic young player and I’m sure he will grab the opportunity with both hands and put in a performance that all of Queensland will be proud of,” the Cowboys playmaker said.

Thurston is planning to stay on in Maroons camp to mentor Milford and offer coach Kevin Walters any assistance he may need.