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Johnathan Thurston ruled out of Origin I

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/05/2017

Star Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston has been ruled out of next week's State of Origin opener.

"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.

Thurston's defection because of a shoulder injury ensures Queensland will enter unfamiliar State of Origin territory at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

It be the first since Thurston made his Origin debut in 2005 that Queensland will be without their champion playmaker.

Thurston's injury also brings to an end a run of 36 consecutive Origin games for one of the modern-day greats of rugby league.

He's been at the Maroons' helm for 10 series victories in 12 years.

The five-eighth was originally named as 18th man but has struggled with a shoulder problem in the lead-up to the clash in Brisbane.

Thurston's withdrawal confirms Anthony Milford for his Origin debut at five-eighth.

Thurston is backing Milford to do the job.

"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.

Gold Coast forward Jarrod Wallace has been called into the Maroons squad as 18th man.

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