Former NRL star Johnathan Thurston has joined the North Queensland Cowboys coaching staff as a consultant with a focus on mentoring the club’s halves in an on and off field capacity.
It marks Thurston’s first official role with the Cowboys NRL squad since calling time on his playing career following the 2018 season.
The former Cowboys captain retired at the end of the 2018 season as a 294 club-game record-holder. Thurston captained the team from 2007-2018 through eight finals series, the 2015 NRL Premiership and 2016 World Club Challenge.
The 38-year-old also holds the club’s point scoring record with 2182.
As a Cowboy, Thurston won four Dally M Medals, three Golden Boots, four Paul Bowman Medals and claimed the Clive Churchill Medal as he captained the club to its historic maiden premiership.
Head coach Todd Payten on Thurston’s new role
“JT is one of the greatest players our game has ever seen,” said Cowboys head coach Todd Payten. “To have him back in a hands-on coaching capacity is a huge coup for our club.
“His main brief will be to work closely with our halves to develop their games. But our entire squad will benefit from having him back at training and inside our building.”
Johnathan Thurston thrilled to return
“I’m extremely excited to be back,” he said. “This club obviously holds a special place in my heart.
“I was lucky enough to receive a taste of coaching with the Maroons for this year’s Origin series and really enjoyed it.
“I think we have some serious talent in the halves here at the Cowboys. I look forward to helping those guys refine their game over the pre-season.”
Elsewhere in the NRL
24-year-old Parramatta Eels forward Keegan Hipgrave has announced his retirement from rugby league with immediate effect. He has retired due to concerns over concussion.