This weekend marks the start of the 2018 NRL campaign and, while fans all over Australia will be looking forward to that, North Queensland Cowboys’s fans will be celebrating a great achievement for one of the game’s finest.
Johnathan Thurston is set to make his 300th NRL appearance and will be wearing the Cowboys jesrsey as they host Cronulla Sharks at Willow Sports Complex on Friday night (08.50am UK time, live on Sky Sports). The player who was initially recruited as a player of promise from Canterbury Bulldogs’ reserve grade setup and has helped his adopted team to success they previously hadn’t experienced; before his arrival in 2005, the Townsville based outfit had made one finals series out of ten but, since he started pulling the strings for the Cowboys, he guided his team to nine of the next thirteen. Indeed, in 2015, wearing his iconic number 7 jersey, he kicked the match winning drop goal to win the Premiership – the club’s first.
The 34 year old has also made 39 appearances for the Australian national team but missed the recent RLWC due to surgery on a shoulder injury sustained in 2017’s State of Origin series. Wearing his iconic scrum cap, Thurston is one of the most recognisable and highly regarded players of his generation. As he approaches the end of his career, he can reflect on one where he has written himself into NRL history. Now, however, his focus will be on ensuring his Cowboys’ team have a strong 2018 campaign.