Johnathan Thurston ruled of Rugby League World Cup due to injury
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 23/06/17 10:51am
Australia star Johnathan Thurston will miss the Rugby League World Cup after a shoulder injury ruled him out of next month's State of Origin decider and effectively ended his Queensland career.
The 34-year-old, who had already announced he will retire from representative rugby at the end of the year, re-injured his shoulder in Wednesday's 18-16 win over New South Wales in game two of State of Origin.
He will miss out on what would have been his 300th NRL match, which had been due to come against Penrith on Saturday, as he now requires surgery on the problem which is expected to sideline him for six months.
The issue will also prevent him from taking part in what would have been his third World Cup campaign, with the competition taking place in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea from October 26 to December 2.
"North Queensland Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston will undergo surgery for an injured shoulder and will not play rugby league again in 2017," a team statement said.
"After consultation with club medical and football staff, his management and family, the decision was taken for Thurston to have surgery after he sustained an injury in Wednesday night's State of Origin match in Sydney.
"The timing of the surgery is still to be determined."
Thurston played on in Wednesday's match after suffering the problem, and his late conversion clinched victory for Queensland.
Maroons coach Kevin Walters hailed his performance in the match.
"We are very grateful of Johnathan, that he has put this team in the position to go to Suncorp Stadium for a decider," he said.
"His efforts in game two were really above and beyond.
"It's obviously a big void to fill for the Maroons, but we have got some good options there available to us.
"We will see what happens over the next few weeks and the next two rounds of NRL before we make our decision."
Walters added that, though he cannot play, the team would ensure Thurston still got a send-off as his last Origin series comes to a close.
"Johnathan will have a role within the team for game three," he said.
"Obviously with it being his last Origin series, we will make sure it is a special occasion for him and his family."