Johnathan Thurston in his Maroons uniform in 2016.
Johnathan Thurston in his Maroons uniform in 2016. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Johnathan Thurston out of State of Origin game one

QUEENSLAND champion Johnathan Thurston has been officially ruled out of next week's Origin opener.  

Thurston has succumbed to the shoulder injury that has been the subject of so much conjecture since his naming as the Maroons 18th man on Monday, with Brisbane's Anthony Milford now certain to debut in the No.6 jumper.  

"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 via a QRL statement on Thursday morning.  

With the 34-year-old's stunning run of 36 straight Origins coming to an abrupt halt, the Maroons will go into the Suncorp Stadium clash without Thurston for the first time since the start of the 2005 series.  

Thurston backed his replacement Milford to stand up in the biggest game of his life, coming with yet another selection storm between Queensland coach Kevin Walters and Broncos mentor Wayne Bennett over the five-eighth's availability now abating.  

 "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," Thurston said.  

The Cowboys skipper will stay in Maroons camp for the remainder of the week to mentor 22-year-old Milford, with Titans prop Jarrod Wallace also joining the squad as the new 18th man.

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