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.

Logan Village theft

Do you recognise this person?

Stealing, Eagleby

Police would like to talk to the person pictured.

Centre's app brings Halloween to life

SPOOKY: Download the Logan Central Plaza app to get involved.

Logan Central Plaza's exciting Halloween plans.

Local Partners

Lane family's proud to invest in Logan

The Lane family own four stores in Logan and are proud to be taking part in the Logan Reporter's City Pride campaign.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

Steve Irwin's final days through dad's eyes

Bob Irwin with his son Steve.

'You never expect that’s the last time you’re going to see your son'

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals