Thurston backs Queensland sanctions


Queensland Maroons and North Queensland Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston said he fully endorses the decision to suspend eight State of Origin hopefuls.

Valentine Holmes and Cameron Munster as well as Ben Hunt, Anthony Milford, Jarrod Wallace, Dylan Napa, Edrick Lee and Chris Grevsmuhl are not eligible for representative duties in 2016 after breaking curfew.

Cronulla Sharks full-back Holmes was reportedly arrested and fined by police after a late-night incident in Brisbane, while Munster also broke curfew on an Emerging Maroons camp.

The eight Queenslanders will not be considered for Origin selection this year and 33-time Maroons half-back Thurston has backed the sanctions handed down.

"A little bit disappointed [by it], but I fully support Kevvie's [coach Kevin Walters'] decision to ban them for 12 months," the four-time Dally M Medallist told Omnisport at the World Club Series launch in Manchester as the Cowboys prepare to face Leeds Rhinos in the World Club Challenge on Sunday.

"We've created something special there and I think they've disrespected that jersey. I back Kevvie's decision and what he has done 100 per cent.

"They'll learn from it and I'm sure when the next camp rolls around, the boys won't be making those decisions again."

Thurston, whose Cowboys tackle Super League winners and three-time World Club Challenge champions Leeds at Headingley Stadium in the one-off match, added: "It will be tough for them sitting on the sidelines and watching.

"They're the next generation of that Queensland jersey. They've disrespected it and Kevvie's made them pay, so they'll find it tough being on the sidelines because all of them are pretty close to playing Origin footy.

"There's a lot of the boys in that team that are on the wrong side of 30, so there'll be a changing of the guard over the next couple of years and those boys will be disappointed that they'll have to watch from the sidelines."