Sport

Thurston gets Meninga's guarantee

Mal Meninga.
Mal Meninga. Tony Martin

THE battle to play halfback for Queensland this season is far from settled, Maroons rugby league coach Mal Meninga has revealed.

Meninga said yesterday that it was down to a four-way stoush between Melbourne's Cooper Cronk, Manly and former Sunshine Coast rookie Daly Cherry-Evans, Parramatta's Chris Sandow and the Gold Coast's Scott Prince.

>> Latest sport news

"I've promised Cooper first crack and that's what will happen," Meninga, who was addressing a Former Origin Greats breakfast at the Crowne Plaza Pelican Waters, said.

Meninga insisted players did not own positions.

"Origin is too important for that," he said.

"They all know and understand that."

It was a different matter, however, for North Queensland Cowboys co-captain Johnathon Thurston - the man who would take the place of Broncos great Darren Lockyer.

Lockyer, the Australian captain, retired at the end of last season.

Meninga said he thought Thurston was a better five-eighth than halfback.

It was a big call. As a halfback, Thurston has been among the best players in the world for several seasons.

"He'll have a bit more space out wider," Meninga said.

"Johnathon played a lot of his early football at five-eighth, right up until he went to the Cowboys."

Meninga said he was looking forward to the State of Origin, but admitted he hoped the exchanges off the field between Queensland and NSW would not be as vitriolic this year.

Queensland will be aiming to score a seventh straight series win.

Meninga, who played with NSW coach Ricky Stewart at the Canberra Raiders, said he still counted Stewart among his good mates.

"We still talk ... just not as much during Origin," he said.

And Meninga's tip for the premiership?

"I still think Manly is strong, and after the off-season they've had, they will have something to prove," he said.

"Wests Tigers has a good roster, too."

Topics:  mal meninga maroons state of origin


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Councillor's $180k stealing charge hits court

Logan City Councillor charged with $180,000 theft

Watch as up to 12 passengers emerge from pulled over Hilux

A Toyota Hilux shortly before 12 people climbed out of it after being pulled over in Logan

Police stop vehicle allegedly carrying 12 passengers

One dead as lethal drug makes ravers "not even human"

NSW pair Jade and Dylan were at the Mount Lindesay rave.

One man was declared dead at the property

Local Partners

Car stolen from business

Police would like to talk to them in relation to a crime in Logan.

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

The surprising problem police face at Woodford Folk Festival

STREET SCENE: Woodford Folk Festival 2016.

The biggest issue for police at Woodfordia is not what you'd expect

Woodford Folk Festival on track to smash records

Monsieur Camembert performs at Woodford Folk Festival.

Great artists, perfect weather the perfect recipe for Woodford

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

50 Shades Dornan on why he hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!