Johnathan Thurston will see out the remainder of his career at the North Queensland Cowboys after signing a four year contract extension worth around $5 million. The deal makes him the highest paid player in the game and signals a return of huge contracts to Rugby League, something we haven’t seen since The Super League War.
It is being reported that the Penrith Panthers were the biggest threat to getting Thurston to leave the Cowboys. I wrote earlier this year that I didn’t think he was the type of player the Panthers should be targeting.
Thurston is entering the tail end of his career and this isn’t the time for him to be playing in a struggling side looking to rebuild. Thurston needs to win now. He can do that with the Cowboys.
Playing behind the two Australian front rowers in Matthew Scott and James Tamou, and with the great Matthew Bowen, Thurston has a real shot at winning the NRL Premiership over the next few seasons.
On the weekend the Cowboys looked great. They looked much better defensively than they have in previous seasons. The win was one of their rare wins away from home though, and that is something they need to sort out.
Thurston staying at the Cowboys is great news for Rugby League. He is an icon at the club and the fans in North Queensland are terrific, they deserve to have a team that is competitive every single season.
Lets hope that in 2013 the Cowboys go be one of the top sides in the competition and really give this competition a shake!