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Not only is Johnathan Thurston considered the best player in rugby league, he is also the most popular with Australian footy fans, receiving the Provan Summons People's Choice Medal for the first time in his career.

One of the great ambassadors the game currently boasts, Thurston's example whether in his competitiveness on the field or the simple act of handing the kicking tee back to the ball boy after each shot at goal is one that many players have subsequently followed and the game is better for his presence.

It's rare that a player so widely regarded for his talents can be so engaging and accommodating with fans but the best laugh in rugby league is the complete performer across 80 minutes, in the media and also in the North Queensland community in particular.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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