Prince pushing to become Origin king - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Prince pushing to become Origin king

By Wayne Heming 13/04/2009 12:14:08 PM Comments (0)

Queensland selector Des Morris says there's plenty of time for the frustrated Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston to rediscover his touch before the State of Origin series in June.

The Titans classy halfback Scott Prince gave his supporters some early Origin ammunition at the weekend, outscoring Thurston in their clash at the Dairy Farmers Stadium.

Prince's supporters believe he deserves another shot at Origin after breaking his arm in last year's series-deciding game.

Morris was reluctant to enter the debate on Monday but said the Queensland selectors had a long history of showing loyalty to players who'd done the job.

Test halfback Thurston has played the last 12 Origins and been a huge part of Queensland's hat-trick under Mal Meninga.

But under the new Cowboys coach Neil Henry, Meninga's Origin assistant, his game this season has undergone changes in a bid to lighten his attacking workload and take much of the focus off him.

Thurston is not getting as many touches of the football and appears to be struggling and frustrated at times with his new role.

"They're both quality players and you never really know who's available or playing really well until the round or two before the Origin series," said Morris.

"Thurston appears to be struggling a little bit at the moment but there's still plenty of time.

"He's done the job for us in the past three series."

Thurston will be the halfback when Queensland chase an unprecedented fourth successive Origin series win - unless his form slumps dramatically or injuries force changes.

But Prince's utility value will make it difficult for selectors to overlook him.

"There's certainly no risk with him and it's not just about one position, there's the halves and his utility value," said Morris.

"If it wasn't for the injuries early in his career and he had the opportunities before Johnathan burst onto the scene, it might have been the other way around.

"Everyone wants to play as many State of Origins as they can.

"His form is good, he leads the side very well, he can obviously handle State of Origin pressure and grand final pressure."

"It's just unfortunate we've two guys who are absolutely outstanding and you can chuck Cooper Cronk in there as well."

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