Current Golden Boot holder Johnathan Thurston is the latest high-profile Australian to be ruled out of this month’s Four Nations tournament.
The 31-year-old, recognised as one of the best playmakers in world rugby, has a shoulder injury. He joins Billy Slater, Brett Morris, Paul Gallen, Darius Boyd, Andrew Fifta, Justin Hodges and several more first-team Kangaroo stars who are unavailable for the autumn competition.
“It was a really difficult decision to have to make but in the end, the doctor really took it out of my hands when I saw him yesterday,” Thurston said.
“You never want to miss playing rep footy, and I’m very proud of my record in that area, but this time there’s no other option.”
Australia coach Tim Sheens will name his final squad for the tournament on Monday.