Thurston pleads for Scott to stay
Johnathan Thurston has wasted little time offering career advice to fellow Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott, saying that "it would really suck" if the burly prop forward took up a big money offer to leave the club at the end of the year.
At 31 years of age Scott has already spoken about the need to make his next contract one that best serves his family which is professional athlete code for the need to cash in before the body can finally take no more.
Newcastle have already been linked to a lucrative deal to lure the Queensland and Kangaroos front-rower deep into enemy territory but Thurston has urged Scott to consider the upside to remaining a one-club player as he heads into his 14th season with the club.
"He already knows my opinion on it but hopefully he can finish his career as a one-club player and be remembered as one of the greatest Cowboys ever," Thurston said at the end of his first week of training for 2017.
"You don't see many of them around, the one-club players, so the NRL should be looking at making concessions for those types of players that have taken a lot less to stay at the one club.
"It would really suck if he left but hopefully he sticks around."
The Knights' front row stocks took a further hit on Friday when the club chose to release Korbin Sims from the final year of his contract effective immediately, freeing up further space in a salary cap war chest that has already snared Cowboys sensation Kalyn Ponga for 2018 and beyond.
As a half who plays as many as 30 games a year on the back of Scott's rolling charges up field, Thurston understands clearly why Newcastle – or any other club in the NRL – would be eager to bring North Queensland's third most capped player to their club.
"Any club that can acquire the services of Matty Scott is going a step in the right direction," Thurston said.
"What he does on the field we all know but I've seen first-hand how much he's grown off the field as a leader of the club so whoever gets his services is kicking goals."
Cowboys five-eighth Michael Morgan also spoke of his desire to see Scott stay in North Queensland but is realistic enough to recognise that every club has players come and go.
"It's no surprise that he'd have interest away from here and that's up to him what he ends up doing," Morgan said.
"I know there's talk about Newcastle but I haven't asked him myself. It would be nice if he could hang around for a couple more years but I don't know too much about it.
"Every club loses players, they come and go all the time. We were very fortunate the year that we won the comp to have the same team the following year.
"Everyone had already re-signed so that helped that situation but at the end of this year and next year there are a lot of players that are off contract within the game so I'd say there'll be a lot of chopping and changing at a number of clubs, it won't just be here."