Johnathan Thurston to retire from representative career this year

He’s undoubtedly one of the greatest players ever to pull on an Australia shirt – but this year will be the last time we see Johnathan Thurston play representative rugby league.

Thurston has confirmed to media in Australia that his Kangaroos and State of Origin career will draw to a close at the end of this season, allowing him to concentrate on club rugby with North Queensland Cowboys in 2018, when he turns 35.

He will play on in 2018 – but only at club level – meaning the World Cup now looks like it will be his international swansong, as well as the State of Origin series this year set to be his last as a player.

“At this stage, it’ll be an extra year next year,” Thurston told

“I’ve spoken to the club to let them know that I’m keen to go again but I’ve also spoken to Mal, letting him know that this will be my last year of rep footy.

“My goal is to warrant selection in the World Cup and make sure I make that squad.”

And Thurston admits that he would like to solely focus on the club game in 2018 to repay the Cowboys.


“The Cowboys and the representative staff are well aware of where my situation is at,” he saod.

“The Cowboys have been great to me on and off the field. If I get through this year well, I’d like to put all my focus into the Cowboys.”