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Final word from JT: This group is 'committed to the cause, to each other, to their state'

Each and every player in the Queensland Maroons squad has earned their place, has prepared well, knows what it means, knows their role and is determined to do the state proud. 

Maroons assistant coach Johnathan Thurston said these key things set the side up to play the best their best footy against New South Wales in State of Origin Game I.

“I’m extremely proud of the group that Billy has assembled… a group of young men that are committed to the cause, to each other, to their state,” Thurston said.

“They’ve put their best foot forward with their preparation and they understand that gives them the best possible chance of playing their best footy when they do that.

“I've really enjoyed the week around the boys. It's been a fun week.”

Thurston said his role was to help coach Billy Slater with attack, including at training and reviewing in groups and individually.

“You’re working with the best players so you’ve only got to tell them once and they take it on board, so it's been really good. I've really enjoyed it.

“Game day now. Let’s go.”

Thurston said he was thoroughly impressed by Game I debutant Reece Walsh.

“He's still young, really willing to learn and he's got Billy Slater as head coach, so he’s been picking his brain… he’s been great,” Thurston said.

“He understands his role and what he needs to do for the team. We need to make sure our halves can put him in situations that bring out his best footy. He's very electric, and can cover a lot of ground and a lot of space in a matter of seconds.

“If we give him opportunities, I think it will be a good night for him.”

Thurston said the team had been focused internally, determined to make all Queenslanders proud come game time at Adelaide Oval.

“We've just been concentrating on ourselves, making sure that, mentally and physically, that they're going to be 100 per cent ready for tonight,” Thurston said.

“The preparation has been second to none. It will give the players the best chance of playing their best footy for their state. It's all about the individual preparation and making sure as a team that they get everything right.

“I'm excited about tonight and watching them play the type of footy that we want to play.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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