NRL

Thurston scares Qld Origin camp

The sight of a distressed Johnathan Thurston clutching his knee at training threw a huge scare through the Queensland State of Origin team camp on Sunday.

But Maroons backrower Matt Gillett liked what he saw from the veteran playmaker ahead of Wednesday night's must-win Origin II in Sydney.

Most teammates had their hearts in their mouths after Thurston went down, not once but twice, at an opposed session against Queensland Cup side Souths Logan at their Gold Coast camp.

First, trainers rushed to Thurston's aid after he copped a nasty knee knock in a tackle.

The 34-year-old appeared in strife holding his knee but eventually brushed away trainers and re-joined the session.

The champion five-eighth - without his trademark headgear - then copped a solid head knock in a tackle before recovering once again.

It was enough to give under fire Queensland coach Kevin Walters heart palpitations.

But Gillett said it was good to see Thurston was confident enough to put his body on the line at training, ending any lingering doubts about his Origin II fitness.

Thurston missed Queensland's record 28-4 game one loss due to a shoulder injury, snapping his record run of 36 straight Origins.

'It's good to see him backing himself by putting his body in front (at training),' Gillett said of Thurston.

'Johnno was just putting his body on the line like all good halves do.

'He had a bit bigger opposition there so it was good to see Johnno doing that.

'His shoulder is fine by the looks of that.'

Thurston and Josh Papalii (knee) both finished Sunday's session.

This Origin series will be Thurston's last after announcing he will retire from representative football after the World Cup later this year.

Returning Maroons backrower Gavin Cooper said Thurston deserved to be sent out a winner.

'It'd be a shame if we couldn't do that,' he said.

'But JT being JT, this week's not about him, it's about the Maroon jersey and that's the way everyone's approaching it.'

Cooper could be seen consoling Thurston after he went down the first time at training.

'I tapped him on the shoulder and said 'gee you can find a story',' Cooper laughed.

'It always makes you look twice when one of your star players goes down.

'But he hopped up and finished the session, he will be fine.'

Cooper, 31, returns to the Queensland backrow amid seven changes to the Maroons team in the wake of their crushing opening loss.

Cooper, who made his Origin debut in game three last year, will start along with rookie prop Jarrod Wallace while fellow debutants Coen Hess and Tim Glasby are on the bench.

Veteran forwards Nate Myles, Sam Thaiday and Jacob Lillyman were cut along with backrower Aidan Guerra after NSW's pack steamrolled the Maroons in game one.

'Us new guys will be doing our best to try and fix those areas that let the team down in game one,' Cooper said.

AAP