31 Oct 2011

Thurston relishing 'villain' tag

8:23 am on 31 October 2011

The Kangaroos rugby league star Johnathan Thurston is urging English crowds to keep on booing him ahead of Sunday morning's clash with the hosts at Wembley.

Thurston was sublime against New Zealand in the Kangaroos' 26-12 win in the Four Nations opener in Warrington on Saturday.

Along with some heavy-handed tactics from the Kiwis, who continually targeted the Queensland halfback, he was subjected to hostility from local fans after he moved a corner post on the sideline to kick a conversion.

A crowd of around 50,000 is predicted for the double-header at England's national stadium - just over half its capacity.

New Zealand take on Wales before the Kangaroos do battle with the hosts, who hammered the Welsh 42-4 in Leigh on Sunday.

Greg Inglis is set to make his long-awaited return to the Kangaroos side with Willie Tonga sidelined due to a hip injury.

However, the problem isn't as serious as first feared and Tonga will remain with the team, despite Sheens initially claiming the Parramatta-bound centre's tour was over.