Queensland Maroons coach Paul Green has today confirmed Johnathan Thurston will join the Maroons as an assistant coach for the 2021 Ampol State of Origin series.
Green has also retained the services of experienced mentor Neil Henry, who assisted Wayne Bennett during the Maroons’ 2-1 series victory over the New South Wales Blues last year.
Thurston’s appointment and confirmation of Henry’s return for the new era under NRL premiership-winning coach Green will ensure the Maroons have a formidable coaching team at their disposal.
“Both Neil and JT have an incredible amount to offer and I’m really pleased to have them both on board for this year’s series,” Green said.
“JT’s Origin record as a player speaks for itself, and he knows what it takes to win. Given that we’re likely to have a young side, it’s a great opportunity for him as well
“Neil has a long history as an assistant in the Origin program, and the fact that he was there to experience the great win last year provides our group with more stability moving forward.”
Thurston, who played in all 24 games of Queensland’s eight-year winning streak from 2006, said he was excited to return to Camp Maroon.
“I always loved playing for the jersey, so to be in a position to hopefully pass on a bit of knowledge while in this role is something that I’m really looking forward to,” Thurston said.
Game I of the 2021 Origin series will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday, June 9, before Suncorp Stadium gets its turn on June 27.
Match: Maroons v Blues
Game 1 -
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Sydney’s Stadium Australia will be the venue for the third match on July 14.