Origin news

The Queensland camp was in good spirits this morning after the NRL's judiciary cleared the way for lock Dallas Johnson to play in next Wednesday night's opening State of Origin.

Johnson had a grade-two careless high tackle charge downgraded, enabling him to take his place against NSW next week. The Maroons will sharpen their sights today at Brisbane Enoggera Army base's rifle range.

They head into camp at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast tomorrow when skipper Darren Lockyer is hoping to run on his injured ankle for the first time.

Queensland prop Petero Civoniceva has fully endorsed the tag mongrel mob for the Maroons fearsome back-row. Queensland selectors, anticipating a strong Blues' pack, have named specialist hitmen Carl Webb, Tonie Carroll and Dallas Johnson in their back-row, with fearless Neville Costigan on the bench along with another crunching defender, Nate Myles.

The group was immediately dubbed the mongrel mob, a tag Civoniceva says sums them up perfectly.

Queensland halfback Johnathan Thurston has delivered a sobering warning to untried NSW Origin halves Jarrod Mullen and Braith Anasta, saying he thinks his partnership with skipper and five-eighth Darren Lockyer can still get better.

Thurston and Lockyer combined last year to lead Queensland back from a game down to win their first Origin series in four years, and have also starred in recent times for Australia. Twenty-year-old Mullen, meanwhile, will be making his Origin debut at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday, with Anasta making his seventh appearance.

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