Maroon legend Johnathan Thurston will be back at the Maroons in 2021, joining a new look coaching team. Picture: Getty Images. Picture: AAP.
Maroon legend Johnathan Thurston will be back at the Maroons in 2021, joining a new look coaching team. Picture: Getty Images. Picture: AAP.

JT set for Maroons Origin comeback

Johnathan Thurston is back to haunt New South Wales with the Queensland Origin champion joining forces with new Maroons coach Paul Green to continue their domination of the Blues.

Green has formally appointed his coaching brigade for the 2021 series, hiring Thurston and former Cowboys mentor Neil Henry as his assistant in a Queensland coaching holy trinity shooting for back-to-back Origin crowns.

Thurston terrorised the Blues during a stellar 12-year career that featured 37 Origin games and the Cowboys legend will use his intimate knowledge of NSW players to help Green achieve success as a coach in the code's toughest arena.

Thurston and Green were a potent alliance in the Cowboys' maiden premiership win in 2015 and now the pair have reunited, along with the tactical guile of Henry, to mentor Queensland's exciting new wave of Origin young guns.

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Maroon legend Johnathan Thurston will be back at the Maroons in 2021, joining a new look coaching team. Picture: Getty Images. Picture: AAP.
Maroon legend Johnathan Thurston will be back at the Maroons in 2021, joining a new look coaching team. Picture: Getty Images. Picture: AAP.

Green has also retained the services of experienced mentor Henry, who assisted Wayne Bennett during the Maroons' epic 2-1 series boilover of the Blues last year.

"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."

Johnathan Thurston will reunite with former Cowboys coach Paul Green at the Maroons. Picture: Getty Images.
Johnathan Thurston will reunite with former Cowboys coach Paul Green at the Maroons. Picture: Getty Images.

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 One of the 2021 Origin series will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday, June 9, before Suncorp Stadium hosts the return bout on June 27.

Sydney's Stadium Australia will be the venue for the third match on July 14.

Originally published as JT set for Maroons Origin comeback



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