Johnathan Thurston speaks during his farewell tour. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Johnathan Thurston speaks during his farewell tour. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Thurston set for new role with Cowboys

JOHNATHAN Thurston might have retired but the influence of the Immortal-in-waiting on the North Queensland Cowboys is set to continue.

Thurston will be the playmaking coach for the Cowboys this year to ensure they continue as a premiership force.

And the player most likely to benefit is the man Thurston has anointed as his heir apparent, Michael Morgan.

"I am willing to help the boys out in anyway,'' said Thurston, whose farewell tour will continue on Friday night when he speaks at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.

"I have become an ambassador for the club but I am also available to help the boys out on the field.

"I will back Morgo and all the other young halves coming through all the way.

"I am planning on sitting down with Peter Parr (Cowboys football manager) soon and work out a plan.''

Thurston is backing Morgan to become one of the game's great halves.

"I 100 per cent believe he can do the job for us,'' Thurston said.

"We have all seen what he has been able to do in the past when he has prepared and played in that role.

 

Thurston will take up a mentoring role in 2019 with the Cowboys playmakers. Picture: Evan Morgan
Thurston will take up a mentoring role in 2019 with the Cowboys playmakers. Picture: Evan Morgan

 

"He led the club to a grand final in 2017 and I have no doubt that he can do it again.

"I also know the players believe he can step up into that role and lead them around the park.

"He is going to continue to grow and I also believe he will be taking all the representative jerseys.

"I will be there for him whenever he needs anything, even if it is just some advice over the phone.''

Thurston is overwhelmed with the response to JT Live. Fans have been flocking to listen to him at venues around Australia.

 

Thurston says Michael Morgan can lead the club to further success. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Thurston says Michael Morgan can lead the club to further success. Picture: Alix Sweeney

 

After his appearance in Melbourne on Friday night, Thurston will continue his speaking tour on Saturday night at the Star Casino on the Gold Coast.

"It has been a lot of fun,'' Thurston said.

"The number of people has been insane. I have been kept busier than I was when I was playing.

"It has been overwhelming and humbling at the same time.''

Some of the biggest names in rugby league have been appearing on stage with Thurston.

"I don't know who is going to come out for the shows,'' Thurston said. "So I have had a few shocks.

"I had Peter Parr come out in Cairns, my wife Samantha in Townsville, Ricky Stuart and Mal Meninga in Canberra and Willie Tonga in Sydney.

"I am not even going to try and guess who will turn out in Melbourne, the Gold Coast or Brisbane next week.''

 

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