Rugby league legend Johnathan Thurston’s State of Origin career is over after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury which has also ruled him out of this autumn’s World Cup.
The North Queensland captain will not play again this year after the Cowboys confirmed the injury Thurston suffered in Wednesday’s Origin victory against New South Wales will require surgery.
“After consultation with club medical and football staff, his management and family, the decision was taken for Thurston to have surgery after he sustained an injury in Wednesday night’s State of Origin match in Sydney,” a club statement read.
“I got the scan and the news isn’t good,” he added. “The best decision for myself and the club is to get it done.
“I thought I might have been able to pump one or two more games out but the medical advice is that if you want a healthy life after football, it’s best to get it done now.”
Thurston had already announced he would be retiring from representative rugby at the end of this season, which means that his international career, as well as his star-studded Origin career, now appears to be over.
“I wanted to finish on a high this year with representative football. I’m comfortable with that decision I’ve made to retire from rep football,” he said.
“I would love to play at the World Cup but it’s not the reality.”
Thurston will, however, continue playing club rugby in 2018, after signing a new one-year contract with the Cowboys earlier this season.
The news is a crushing blow to Australia ahead of the World Cup though – as well as Queensland, who set up a decider in the 2017 Origin series on Wednesday thanks to Thurston’s game-winning conversion from the touchline to beat the Blues.