Queensland Origin star Johnathan Thurston has set the date that he will walk out on his rugby league career.
The four-time Dally M medallist told the Courier Mail in an exclusive interview that he would retire at the end of 2018, finishing up his final year with the North Queensland Cowboys.
More surprisingly, Thurston said he would be ending his representative career a year earlier, at the end of the 2017 season, citing the desire to finish his final season of professional rugby league by focusing solely on North Queensland.
'YOU DIRTY BUGGERS, YOU QUEENSLANDERS'
FORMER Blues enforcer Steve Roach has labelled the big-screen ambush of the NSW team's final State of Origin training as "embarrassing".
Roach has also warned the NSW forward pack will be further fired up after Queensland match highlights from the past 10 years began playing on the big screen at Suncorp Stadium during the Blues' training session on Tuesday.
QRL played Maroons highlights on Suncorp big screen during Blues training. #mindgames— Chris Garry (@Tiger_CMail) June 21, 2016
"How embarrassing," Roach told the Triple M Grill Team ahead of Wednesday's State of Origin II clash at the stadium.
"I mean do they think that's going to put people off?
"That would make me even more angry to want to belt them."
Queensland officials denied any involvement in the matter, with Stadium staff explaining that the video was for a Queensland former Origin Greats luncheon hosted at the ground on Tuesday But Roach, who has entered the NSW camp in recent days, believes the offending party may live to rue the decision against a Blues forward group he was already backing to be fierce.
"That pack should be mental as anything," he said.
"I would love to see them go out there and kick early, kick long and make Queensland play off their own line and cause a little bit of damage like in the old days."
Former NSW winger Matt King, who scored a hat trick of tries in the Blues' last successful must-win match at the ground in 2005, also indicated did not believe the screening was just a coincidence.
"You dirty buggers, you Queenslanders," King told Sky Sports Radio.
"The boys would have got straight together and gone `look how disrespectful it is' and hopefully use it as motivation."