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OPINION: BRL should not have promised Thurston at trial

PAUL Green's announcement of a depleted side for Saturday's trial is not a surprise, but I did expect at least a few more top names from North Queensland.

I completely understand the club's preference to focus on the Auckland Nines, but after Bundaberg Rugby League chairman Mike Ireland said Johnathan Thurston would "definitely" be there I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

When ticket prices were revealed I defended the BRL's decision-making based on their ability to bring the grand final rematch to Bundaberg, the costs of the event and Ireland's guarantee Thurston would be involved.

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Ireland said he understood Cowboys fans were disappointed, but the "BRL doesn't control what sides are picked".

As a fan, I am disappointed Thurston is not involved, but the BRL should never have promised his presence.

Thankfully Brisbane named a gun side, featuring the likes of exciting five-eighth Anthony Milford, veteran lock Corey Parker and the hottest centre in the NRL, James Roberts.

The fact it is Roberts' first Broncos game makes the trial even more tantalising.

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