North Queensland superstar Johnathan Thurston has finally put to bed speculation about his future by signing a four year deal.
The deal is reputed to be worth in the region of $5 million to Thurston, who rejected big money offers from Penrith and Canterbury to remain with the Cowboys.
It means that Thurston, 29, will stay with the Townsville club until the end of the 2017 season.
“My last contract was a tough decision, but nothing on this one,” said Thurston, who has made 23 appearances for Australia and played in 24 Origin matches for Queensland.
“I’m delighted and relieved to get it out of the way so early in the season.
“I’ve got lifetime friends and best mates here and unfinished business.
“The last few weeks have been tough to come to this decision but it’s the right decision for me.”
Thurston’s decision follows forwards the re-signings of Matt Scott and James Tamou.
“It’s a big relief. Obviously Johnathan means a lot to this club,” said Cowboys football manager Peter Parr.
“We’re humbled he has taken less money to remain here.
“It means we’ve got one of the best players, if not the best player in the world for the next five years.”