Reigning Golden Boot winner Johnathan Thurston is calling for the NRL to factor State of Origin into their scheduling, which he labelled as “borderline ridiculous”.
Origin stars pride themselves on ‘backing up’ – playing for their club team the week after an interstate test, but Thurston doesn’t think they should have to, especially when the intensity of the first match was so high.
“I have never been part of such a brutal game before in Origin,” he recalled.
“It was one of the fastest as well. And to back up for your club a few days later … it’s borderline ridiculous.
“I know the boys pride themselves on backing up for their club – I do personally.
“It has been passed down by guys like Locky [Darren Lockyer], having pride in your performance after an Origin.
“But I just don’t know why we have to do it. We have the powerbrokers in the game. Surely we can come up with a better system.”
“You saw the brutality in game one and I don’t see it letting up any time soon. The damage will be done when the boys back up. Fatigue is when injuries happen – hopefully we find another solution.”