The Australia star Johnathan Thurston will be forced to miss the Rugby League World Cup after picking up a shoulder injury that ruled him out of next month’s State of Origin decider and has effectively ended his Queensland career.
Thurston had already announced his retirement from representative rugby at the end of the year and he then re-injured his shoulder in last week’s 18-16 win over New South Wales in game two of State of Origin.
He will miss what would have been his 300th NRL match and he now needs surgery on his shoulder. As a result, he is expected to be sidelined for as long as six months.
The shoulder will also prevent him from taking part in his third World Cup campaign. The competition will be taking place in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea from October to December.
A team statement said, “North Queensland Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston will undergo surgery for an injured shoulder and will not play rugby league again in 2017. 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. The timing of the surgery is still to be determined.”
— NQ Cowboys (@nthqldcowboys) June 22, 2017
It was Thurston’s late conversion that sealed victory for Queensland last week and afterwards there was a great deal of praise for him.
Maroons coach Kevin Walters said, “We are very grateful of Johnathan, that he has put this team in the position to go to Suncorp Stadium for a decider. His efforts in game two were really above and beyond. It’s obviously a big void to fill for the Maroons, but we have got some good options there available to us.”