The Cowboys have won the contract race for JT.
Australian Test star Johnathan Thurston ended speculation over his playing future by re-signing with the North Queensland Cowboys for four more National Rugby League seasons, the club said on Monday.
Thurston, a two-time Dally M Medal winner who was awarded the 2011 Golden Boot as International Player of the Year, has been in demand from other clubs but decided to stay with the Cowboys for a deal reportedly worth more than Aus$1 million (US$1.02 million).
Thurston was named as the face of the NRL alongside singer Jessica Mauboy, following the off-field drama of Canterbury star Ben Barba. A permanent fixture of the Kangaroos squad JT is one of the most liked faces in the NRL by fans and players alike.
The goalkicking scrum-half, who joined the team from Canterbury Bulldogs in 2005, has played 169 NRL games for the Cowboys and is set to bring up 200 overall NRL games in round three of this season’s competition.
“I’m very excited to announce that I’m re-signing with the Cowboys until the end of the 2017 season,” said Thurston, who has scored 238 points in 23 Tests.
“That’s four more years after this one that I will get to enjoy being an on-field representative of the great club we have here in North Queensland.”
Cowboys chief executive Peter Jourdain said Thurston’s re-signing was a huge boost.
“Everyone who follows rugby league knows he is one of the best players, if not the best player, in the game,” Jourdain said.
“He is exceptional on the field and has been a long-time leader of our club.”