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GC2018: Rugby league royalty Thurston to carry Queen's baton in Townsville

Timoci Vula
Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Update: 2:07PM AUSTRALIAN professional rugby league royalty Johnathan Thurston has been named as a baton bearer for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Queen's Baton Relay (QBR) when it visits Townsville in two weeks.

Thurston will join 104 other legends in Townsville as the Queen's baton makes its way through the GC2018 event city. 

A statement from the Queen's Baton Relay (QBR) media team said the four-time Dally M medallist will be the final baton bearer on Day 83 of the relay (Sunday, March 18), and will carry the baton into the Jezzine Barracks. 

"Townsville is my home and to have it play an integral part in the lead-up to these Commonwealth Games is truly special," Thurston was quoted saying in the statement.

"Queensland does big events well and I'm certain these Commonwealth Games will be no different. I'm looking forward to Townsville being on show to the world during the men's and women's basketball competitions."

Starting at 2:30pm in the West End, the Queen's baton will then travel into the city and down Palmer Street before heading to The Strand and finishing the day at the barracks, where it will be live for 30 minutes as part of a free community celebration.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said she expected a big turn-out when the Queen's baton made its way through the city.

"It's fantastic that Townsville has been selected to be part of such a major event and there's no doubt our city is full of sports fanatics. Having Johnathan Thurston as a baton bearer will be a very special moment for the North Queensland community and I'm sure will help inspire our next generation of athletes," Ms Hill said.

According to the QBR media team, the Queen's baton will wake up in Townsville on Monday, March 19 for more QBR action, starting at Reid Park before moving on to Charters Towers Road and Ross River Road, and finishing in Cranbrook.

The city is hosting the preliminary rounds of the GC2018 Basketball competition from April 5-10.

The Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre will host the top four seeded women's nations in Pool A, headlined by the Australian Opals, Canada, England and Mozambique, and Pool B fixtures of the men's competition.

Tickets, priced at $30 for adults and $15 for children, can be purchased on a first come, first served basis via

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