JOHNATHAN Thurston's amazing journey from the back streets of Sunnybank in Brisbane to the rarefied air only a few Origin players inhale continues tomorrow night when he joins just six other Queensland players who have pulled on the maroon jumper 30 times or more.

Only the King, Wally Lewis (31), current coach Mal Meninga (32), champion halfback Allan Langer (34), forward leader Petero Civoniceva (33) current captain Cameron Smith (32) and former captain and Origin's most-capped player Darren Lockyer (36) have reached the rare Origin milestone.

Asked how he felt about his latest rugby league honour, the dual Dally M winner and Dally halfback or five-eighth five times in the past eight years said he had not really given too much thought about it until re-entering Queensland camp in Brisbane last week.

"I hadn't really thought too much about it ….. but as you can see it puts a big smile on my face," Thurston told APN.

"Hopefully I can get through the week and put that jersey on again.

Ironically, just a few days after making that comment, the champion playmaker limped from the training field 30 minutes early, sending a scare through the Maroons camp as he slumped to the ground after copping a knock to his right leg. However, after initial concerns, the injury was diagnosed as a cork and will not prevent him taking his date with destiny.

Thurston claimed former hard-man forward Gary Larson's consecutive Origin games record of 22 in 2011.

He is the only player to have appeared in every one of Queensland's 24 games during its eight-straight series streak over NSW which was halted this year.



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