Cowboys' co-captain Jonathan Thurston is set for a Maroons recall.
Cowboys' co-captain Jonathan Thurston is set for a Maroons recall. DAVE HUNT

Origin: Shillington backs 'older blokes' Billy and JT

RUGBY LEAGUE: Former Queensland front-rower David Shillington has thrown his full support behind a potential Origin return for Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater on the eve of team selections for Origin II at ANZ Stadium.

Shillington admitted it was tough to watch the Blues demolition job on Queensland in game one and is hoping for a reinvigorated Maroons performance on June 21.

Speaking at a schoolboy league gala night on the NSW north coast, the 215-game NRL veteran said it was time Queensland brought a little bit more experience into their backline with the inclusion of a healthy Johnathon Thurston as well.

"It is not over yet, we just need to make a couple of small tweaks to the side, let the team freshen up and hopefully it is a better game for Queensland in game two," he told The Daily Examiner.

"I would love to see a few of the older blokes in Billy and JT come back into the side. I would love to see Billy back in the side, I think he should have been there in game one."

Slater and Thurston both did themselves no harm at the weekend both playing instrumental roles to lead their club sides to victory in Round 14.

While he wants to see the experience return to the Queensland side, Shillington suggested it might also be time for a youthful shake-up in the forward pack.

"I think it is hard to suggest some players should retire from Origin like Mylesy and them because they have given us so much great service so I would understand if they got picked for Game II," he said.

"But on the other page there are some other guys like Jarrod Wallace and Coen Hess who could slot in nicely.

"We need to get a couple of those old heads back in the team first and foremost, but no matter what it should be a good game."

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