NRL: Johnathan Thurston unlikely to play at Auckland Nines

Johnathan Thurston. Photo / Photosport
Johnathan Thurston. Photo / Photosport

North Queensland's NRL grand final winning hero Johnathan Thurston is unlikely to play in next month's Auckland Nines.

The superstar says he'll travel across the Tasman with his Cowboys teammates but isn't expecting to see action.

"I'll take my boots but I don't think I'll play," Thurston told

"(It's) more precautionary. The body's pretty good actually."

Instead Thurston says his focus is on ensuring he's physically ready for the World Club Challenge against Leeds on February 21.

"I'm preparing for the season and I don't want that risk of getting injured."

As a result, Thurston is also pulling out of the NRL All-Stars match.

"I will always have great affection for the All Stars match and I am already aiming to be back for next year's game," Thurston said.

"But this is a unique opportunity to win the World Club Challenge and I want to do all I can to help the Cowboys achieve that goal."

The World Club Challenge is one of the few achievements the Queensland and Australia representative is yet to complete in his stellar career.

South Sydney's Greg Inglis has been named as Thurston's replacement as the captain of the Indigenous All Stars team which will take on a World All Stars lineup in Brisbane next month.

"It's an incredible honour to captain the Indigenous All Stars," Inglis said.

"It is always a special time for me - not only is the game itself something to remember but the week is always a highlight."


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