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Johnathan Thurston Profile Image

Johnathan Thurston

Captain - Halfback

Cowboys

Player Bio

Height:
179 cm
Weight:
87 kg
Age:
35
Date of Birth:
25 April 1983
Birthplace:
Brisbane, QLD
Nickname:
JT
Debut Club:
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Opposition:
Penrith Panthers
Date:
08 June 2002
Round:
13
Previous Club:
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Junior Club:
Souths Sunnybank
Biography:
Bio proudly brought to you by Toyota and the North Queensland Toyota Dealers

After receiving a series of knockbacks from clubs saying he was too small to play in the NRL, Thurston was given his chance by the Canterbury Bulldogs who handed the then 19-year-old his top grade debut in round 13 of the 2002 season.

Although Thurston never cemented a starting position and only took part in 29 matches throughout three seasons at the Bulldogs, in his final year in 2004, he was part of the premiership-winning side coming off the bench in the Bulldogs’ 16-13 win over the Sydney Roosters.

He joined the Cowboys for the 2005 season and immediately made an impact, taking the club to its first grand final, as well as winning the Dally M Medal for Player of the Year and the Dally M Halfback of the Year award.

His first State of Origin appearance for Queensland also came in ’05 and he made his Test debut for Australia a year later.

Thurston was appointed Cowboys captain in 2007, led them to the preliminary final and once again clinched the Dally M Medal/Halfback of the Year double.

He has been selected in each of the six Indigenous All Stars matches, was named in the Indigenous Team of the Century, has won five State of Origin man-of-the-match awards, was the Wally Lewis Medal winner for State of Origin player of the series in 2008; and the 2011, 2013 and 2015 Golden Boot winner for world rugby league player of the year. He is also the Cowboys’ all-time leading points scorer (1754).

In 2012, Thurston brought up 1,000 career points and 150 matches for North Queensland, was named Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year, won his second Paul Bowman Medal as Cowboys Player of the Year and the prestigious Ken Stephen Medal, awarded by the NRL, for his off-field community work.

Season 2013 saw Thurston retain the Cowboys’ co-captaincy and lead the Cowboys to a record third straight finals appearance, and he also brought up his 200th NRL game and 1300 career points.

He was the only player to have lined up in every single match of Queensland's eight State of Origin series victories and has not missed an Origin clash since his debut in game one, 2005.

Thurston won the 2013 RLPA Player of the Year award, The Deadlys Indigenous NRL Player of the Year award, was equal second in the 2013 Dally M Medal and joint winner of the Five-Eighth of the Year Award, and won his second Golden Boot, becoming only the third player to win twice.

During an amazing Rugby League World Cup campaign, JT won the man-of-the-match award in the tournament opener against England and the final against New Zealand at Old Trafford and was named as the player of the tournament.

He also moved into the No.1 spot on the Kangaroos’ all-time scorers’ list.

Cowboys members and fans saw arguably JT’s best season in 2014 as he guided his team to fifth place on the ladder, a finals win against Brisbane and, agonisingly, a one-point loss to the Roosters that ended his quest for the premiership.

At his inspirational and creative best, JT won a third Dally M Medal, this time sharing it with Parramatta’s Jarryd Hayne, a third Paul Bowman Medal as Cowboy of the Year, a third RLPA Players’ Player Award, the Provans Summons Medal voted by the public and a host of media player of the year prizes.

In his first season under a new structure put in place by coach Paul Green, Thurston led the NRL in try assists and linebreak assists and even crossed for 11 tries of his own, equalling a personal best for tries in a season.

Other highlights included reaching 200 games for the Cowboys, setting a new club record for points in a season (234) and leading the NRL’s point-scoring list for the home and away rounds (208).

In the representative arena, the champion halfback/five-eighth extended his record for consecutive State of Origin appearances to 30 matches and he overtook Mal Meninga as the leading Origin point-scorer of all time.

At the end-of-season presentation night, JT officially became only the Cowboys’ fifth life member after reaching 200 games for the Cowboys earlier in the year.

He became the second-most capped player for the Cowboys in round 6, 2015, posting his 220th game for the club and overtaking Aaron Payne to sit behind Matthew Bowen (270).

If 2014 was Thurston’s best year to date, 2015 surely eclipsed all before it, and by some margin.

In guiding the team to a historic maiden premiership following its best-ever home-and-away season (17 wins, seven losses) and a stirring 17-16 grand final win over the Brisbane Broncos, Thurston won just about every accolade there was to win.

A record fourth Dally M Medal was his after his stellar NRL season where he led the league in try assists and line break assists, while he also collected a fourth halfback of the year gong and captain of the year honours alongside teammate Matt Scott.

Thurston again won the publicly voted Provan-Summons Medal for the second year in succession, a fourth Paul Bowman Medal as the Cowboys’ best player and a fourth RLPA player of the year award.

In guiding the Cowboys to premiership glory, Thurston won the Clive Churchill medal and narrowed the gap on Matt Bowen (270) for games played for the Cowboys (239).

On the Origin arena, Thurston extended his record uninterrupted streak of 33 consecutive matches over 11 seasons and he collected his fifth Origin Man of the Match away in the 52-6 Game three rout over the Blues as Queensland regained the coveted Shield.

After sweeping all before him in 2015 – both in terms of individual accolades and in every team he played for – North Queensland Toyota Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston entered 2016 on a high and keen to lead his team to further success.

He didn’t have to wait long for more spoils to come, piloting the Cowboys to their inaugural World Club Challenge title with a masterful display in the 38-4 routing of English Super League champs Leeds Rhinos at Headingley Stadium in February.

Having led the Cowboys to an NRL title four months prior, and also playing a leading hand in multiple successes for the Maroons and Kangaroos over the years, Thurston – who forwent playing in the 2016 All Stars match to best prepare for England – could now count a WCC title among his list of achievements.

The crowning glory on that cold English night was Thurston being awarded the Graham Murray Medal – named in honour of Thurston’s former Cowboys coach and Leeds mentor – for his man-of-the-match efforts.

Once the 2016 National Rugby League season began, Thurston again performed at a high level in his 12th season in Cowboys colours.

He played in 24 games, scoring two tries, kicking 96 goals and leading the competition in try assists with 25.

Missing the Round 12 and Round 18 matches due to State of Origin commitments, Thurston missed just one other club game in 2016, with a hamstring injury ruling him out of what was to be the team’s only loss at 1300SMILES Stadium for the year as the Melbourne Storm ground out a 16-8 win in Round 21.

Having already won the game’s highest individual honour – the Dally M Medal – four times, Thurston was again in the mix in 2016, and finished equal third in the count with 22 votes, the same number as good friend and Maroons teammate Cameron Smith and four adrift of joint winners, fellow Cowboy Jason Taumalolo and the Storm’s Cooper Cronk.

He was also a nominee for Halfback of the Year, Representative Player of the Year, the People’s Choice Award and Captain of the Year.

On the representative front, Thurston was chief playmaker in the Kangaroos’ 16-0 win over New Zealand in the May Test in Newcastle, and was also instrumental in Queensland going back-to-back in Origin, the Maroons clinching the series 2-1.

Thurston fronted up for the Kangaroos in the Four Nations tournament in England during October and November, before returning to North Queensland for pre-season preparations for the final year of his current Cowboys contract.

He became the sixth professional rugby league player to reach 2,000 career points in Round 2, 2017 against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, going on to amass 2,000 club points for the Cowboys in Round 6, 2017 against the Tigers at 1300SMILES Stadium.

Thurston will see out his career at the club in which he has tasted most of his success as a rugby league superstar after agreeing in May 2017 to a one-year contract extension.

The good news of the contract extension was tempered by what would be a continuing saga over injuries for balance of the first half of the season.

Playing well and leading the team to a 4-1 start to a new campaign, Thurston tore his calf in a Round 6 clash with the Tigers in Townsville. He would miss two matches with that injury, but his first game game back was for Australia in their 30-12 May Test win over New Zealand.

Thurston hurt his shoulder in that match and then spent a significant amount of time on the sidelines, not returning to the field until a Round 14 clash with the Eels in Darwin.

Thurston was sublime in that match, scoring a try and booting six goals as the Cowboys triumphed in the Top End 32-6.

That was to be the last time Thurston would suit up for the Cowboys in 2017, with the champion playmaker reinjuring his shoulder on the Wednesday in Game II of the State of Origin series.

After missing Game I, Thurston was itching to help his Maroons teammates to victory as they teetered on the brink of a series defeat following the Blues’ classy Game I win.

Thurston iced the game for Queensland with a pressure conversion in a thrilling match, but an earlier knock to his injured shoulder revealed major damage and the 34-year-old had season-ending surgery, stranded on 299 NRL games and equal with Cowboys legend Matt Bowen on 270 games for the North Queensland club.

Named 2017 Human Rights Medallist, Thurston continued his recovery in the pre-season and was a finalist for the 2018 Australian of the Year after being named the Queensland Australian of the Year in November.

Career

Appearances
314
Tries
88

2018 Season

Appearances
15

Scoring

Tries
1
Goals
41

Kicking

Forced Drop Outs
14
Average Kicking Metres
170
Goal Conversion Rate

Attack

Try Assists
11
Line Break Assists
12

Passing

Offloads
9
Receipts
862

Defence

Tackles Made
203
Tackle Efficiency

Running Metres

Average Running Metres
49.4
Total Running Metres
741

Fantasy

Total Points
483
Average Points
32.2

2018 Season - By Round

2018 Season - By Round
Round Opponent Score Position Minutes Played Tries Goals Points Kicking Metres Forced Drop Outs Try Assists Linebreaks Tackle Breaks Post Contact Metres Offloads Receipts Tackles Made Missed Tackles Total Running Metres Hit Up Running Metres Kick Return Metres
1 Sharks Won 20 - 14 Halfback 80 - 2 4 186 - 2 - - 2 - 64 12 2 33 - -
2 Broncos Lost 24 - 20 Halfback 80 - 4 8 232 1 3 - 5 20 2 67 8 7 154 - 4
3 Storm Lost 30 - 14 Halfback 80 - 3 6 183 1 1 - - 4 2 67 13 6 45 - -
4 Panthers Lost 14 - 33 Halfback 80 - 1 2 192 2 - - 1 6 - 49 6 4 54 - -
5 Warriors Lost 22 - 12 Halfback 80 - 2 4 269 - 1 - - 11 - 57 21 4 45 - -
6 Bulldogs Lost 10 - 27 Halfback 80 - 1 2 25 - - - - 12 1 56 16 4 64 - -
7 Titans Won 26 - 14 Halfback 80 - 5 10 18 - 1 - 1 14 1 38 14 2 49 - -
8 Raiders Lost 8 - 18 Halfback 80 - 2 4 226 3 1 - 1 4 - 69 15 3 45 - -
9 Panthers Won 20 - 26 Halfback 80 1 5 14 145 - 1 - 1 2 - 48 16 4 16 - -
10 Wests Tigers Lost 20 - 12 Halfback 80 - 2 4 208 - - - 2 3 1 53 16 5 31 - -
11 Rabbitohs Lost 19 - 20 Halfback 80 - 5 10 210 1 - - - 8 - 46 12 5 21 - -
12 Storm Lost 6 - 7 Halfback 80 - 1 2 109 - - - 1 3 1 57 10 4 36 - 6
13 Sea Eagles Won 12 - 26 Halfback 80 - 5 10 286 1 - - 1 - - 64 14 2 53 - -
14 Eels Lost 20 - 14 Halfback 80 - 1 2 95 1 1 - - 16 1 60 15 6 44 - -
15 Warriors Lost 16 - 23 Halfback 80 - 2 4 166 4 - - - 8 - 67 15 3 45 - -

Career By Season

Career By Season
Year Played Won Lost Drawn Win % Tries Goals Points Kicking Metres Kicking Metres Average Goal Conversion Rate Forced Drop Outs Try Assists Offloads Receipts Tackles Made Missed Tackles Total Running Metres Average Running Metres Kick Return Metres Total Points Average Points
Bulldogs 2002 7 5 2 - 71% 2 - 8 - - - - - 5 - 173 22 415 59.29 - - -
Bulldogs 2003 15 9 6 - 60% 4 - 16 452 30.13 - - 5 8 - 277 58 1,076 71.73 12 - -
Bulldogs 2004 7 6 1 - 86% 4 - 16 280 40.00 - - 1 6 - 107 19 520 74.29 - - -
Cowboys 2005 26 15 11 - 58% 5 28 78 5,747 221.04 77.78% - 33 38 - 448 91 2,116 81.38 21 - -
Cowboys 2006 17 9 8 - 53% 11 49 142 4,261 250.65 77.78% - 12 20 - 201 46 1,511 88.88 55 - -
Cowboys 2007 25 17 8 - 68% 10 78 196 6,375 255.00 80.41% - 31 19 - 337 123 1,715 68.60 137 - -
Cowboys 2008 17 4 13 - 24% 4 39 94 4,320 254.12 78.00% - 19 20 - 205 70 1,123 66.06 13 - -
Cowboys 2009 23 10 13 - 43% 11 79 202 5,690 247.39 79.80% - 25 21 - 391 109 1,188 51.65 27 - -
Cowboys 2010 17 3 14 - 18% 2 43 95 3,393 199.59 86.00% - 16 18 - 203 61 891 52.41 - - -
Cowboys 2011 19 11 8 - 58% 10 61 162 4,865 256.05 77.22% - 22 18 - 274 84 1,307 68.79 43 - -
Cowboys 2012 24 15 9 - 62% 3 90 192 6,599 274.96 82.57% - 24 24 - 292 82 1,674 69.75 23 - -
Cowboys 2013 22 12 10 - 55% 2 71 151 6,384 290.20 75.53% 29 20 20 1225 312 59 1,857 84.41 56 - -
Cowboys 2014 24 15 9 - 62% 11 93 234 6,325 263.53 76.86% 20 28 16 1393 368 61 1,541 64.21 46 1,269 52.9
Cowboys 2015 25 18 7 - 72% 4 93 208 7,403 296.12 78.15% 24 33 23 1589 373 66 2,434 97.39 58 1,535 61.4
Cowboys 2016 24 16 8 - 67% 2 96 201 6,716 279.82 84.21% 24 25 9 1492 318 87 1,462 60.93 7 1,099 45.8
Cowboys 2017 7 5 2 - 71% 2 26 61 1,723 246.11 86.67% 9 7 2 402 97 31 582 83.23 8 341 48.7
Cowboys 2018 15 4 11 - 27% 1 41 86 2,550 169.97 73.21% 14 11 9 862 203 61 741 49.41 12 483 32.2

Career Overall

Career Overall
Year Start Year End Played Won Lost Drawn Win % Tries Goals Points Kicking Metres Kicking Metres Average Goal Conversion Rate Forced Drop Outs Try Assists Offloads Receipts Tackles Made Missed Tackles Total Running Metres Average Running Metres Kick Return Metres Total Points Average Points
Bulldogs 2002 2004 29 20 9 - - 10 - 40 732 25.24 - - 6 19 - 557 99 2,011 69.00 12 - -
Cowboys 2005 2018 285 154 131 - - 78 887 2102 72,350 253.86 79.41% - 306 257 - 4,022 1031 20,144 70.00 509 4,744 40.6

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