Thurston to take on Kiwis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thurston to take on Kiwis

26/10/2008 02:40:39 PM Comments (0)

Australian halfback Johnathan Thurston will put family tragedy to one side and take his place in the Kangaroos line-up for tonight's World Cup clash against New Zealand.

Thurston's uncle Richard Saunders, 38, died in Brisbane early Saturday morning after reportedly being the target of a bashing, the incident still under investigation by Queensland Police.

The Australian No.7 was told of the tragedy before the team's final training run on Saturday and was given the option of standing down from the side's opening game of the tournament at the Sydney Football Stadium tonight.

But Thurston said he was determined to play and he took part in the team walk this morning at Coogee in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

"At this stage he's playing. Nothing's changed as far as the line-up goes," a team spokesman said.

Coach Ricky Stuart had placed back-up halfback Scott Prince on standby for his Queensland Origin halves partner, but it appears Prince will watch tonight's game from the stands.

The Kangaroos will wear black armbands as a mark of respect in tonight's match.

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