Thurston turns down moves to Wigan and St Helens

Johnathan Thurston will end his career in the NRL, after rejecting the opportunity to end his career in Super League.

Thurston, the only player to win the Golden Boot three times, had previously told the hierarchy at the North Queensland Cowboys of his desire to end his career in Super League.

Naturally, his potential availability had sparked interest from a number of Super League clubs, with reports in Australia suggesting that Thurston’s representatives had fielded enquiries from Wigan and St Helens.

However, Thurston has put speculation to bed, by confirming to Australian media that he will be staying Down Under.

“I won’t be going to England,” he said.

“I don’t know what the standard is like over there but I’m settled at the Cowboys and my manager is in the process of hopefully negotiating a new deal to play on,’’ he said.

“I’ve had my ups and downs at the Cowboys but thankfully the club stood by me earlier in my career.

“I don’t know whether I will go on (beyond a 12-month extension in 2018), but whatever happens I would like to finish my career at the Cowboys.’’

Thurston’s agent, Sam Ayoub, went on to reveal that the Australian international had been offered a luxurious deal to play for rugby union side Toulon.

“To be honest, his interest was more in French rugby a few years ago when a big opportunity came from France.

“When he was getting roughly $500,000 in the NRL, we had an expression of interest at the $900,000 mark from a middle agent for the Toulon club.

“We are currently working on another deal for Johnathan with the Cowboys and hopefully circumstances allow that.”