Johnathan Thurston at the World Cup opener.
Johnathan Thurston at the World Cup opener.

Mortified JT ‘didn’t leave the house for two weeks’

JOHNATHAN Thurston has revealed he was so mortified by his "mind blank" in the Kangaroos' historic acknowledgement of country to kick off the World Cup, he didn't leave the house for two weeks.

Thurston was given the honour of leading a moving ceremony to welcome the competing nations to Australian soil for the start of the tournament, standing behind a Kangaroos side in formation on the field in Melbourne just before their first pool game against England.

However, as he attempted to recite the words to the ode he was delivering, he had what he describes as a "mind blank" muddling his lines before appearing to drop an F-bomb.

The slip up was picked up by TV viewers before gaining notoriety on social media and making for embarrassing headlines in the news media.

After returning to Cowboys training this week, Thurston was on Tuesday asked about the incident by reporters and revealed how upset he was with himself.

"I didn't leave the house for two weeks," Thurston said.

"I'm very proud of what the Kangaroos have been able to achieve over the years but since Mal's taken on the role and since Smithy's been driving, the senior players have been driving the culture of the Kangaroos and what they want to be known as and how they want to live by, the values that they've set, I'm very proud to be a part of it and I'm really disappointed in myself for what happened.

"Hopefully I'll get another opportunity to right the wrongs there."

In a candid interview, Thurston once again reiterated that 2018 would be his last season before retirement, with the all-time great holding high hopes for a fairytale farewell in the form of another premiership.

Watch every NRL premiership game live in 2018 on Fox Sports. Sign up here to stream for free on a two week trial >

"That's the plan but I'm not naive to think all dreams come true," Thurston said.

"There's a lot of hard work that lays ahead with the playing group, there's a few fresh faces but most of the talent is still there from the last couple of years so it's about collectively buying into the values that we hold as a group and living those on and off the training park.

" ... It's a strong squad, one of the strongest we've ever had," Thurston said.

"It's a good sign and it's four weeks before Christmas now, so everyone needs to work hard and that's what we're trying to do."

While Thurston is back training with the team following shoulder surgery to repair the injury that ended his 2017 season after Origin II, he said he would not do any contact work until after Christmas.

"It's nice now that the shoulder's nearly fully healed," he said.

"I've got full range in it, it's just about getting the strength back in it now. I can do that now over the next four weeks, so I'm looking forward now to what lies ahead with the boys.

"I'm still a little bit off strength-wise but we'll pick that up over the next four weeks and it should be at full strength after Christmas."

Johnathan Thurston embraces Cooper Cronk after the grand final.
Johnathan Thurston embraces Cooper Cronk after the grand final.

Known for being one of the most competitive players in the game, Thurston was devastated to have to sit out his side's incredible run to the grand final, with Michael Morgan taking the driver's seat.

However, he admitted the time off could turn out to be a blessing in disguise, giving his weary 34-year-old body a rest before one final effort.

"Everyone's carrying niggles during the year and when you're at the back end of your career, you're managing those niggles much more," Thurston said.

"So having the shoulder surgery gives your knees and ankles a bit of a break but I've still got to keep training and try to keep the skin folds to a minimum, obviously not training at peak like the rest of the boys."

STATE ELECTION: Where to vote in Warrego Electorate

Premium Content STATE ELECTION: Where to vote in Warrego Electorate

All the locations you can cast your vote before and on election day. DETAILS:

Spooky, germ free night to take place in Dalby

Premium Content Spooky, germ free night to take place in Dalby

ZOMBIES, ghosts, and ghouls will be rampaging through the streets of Dalby, armed...

Man in court for breaking his way across the NSW border

Premium Content Man in court for breaking his way across the NSW border

A MAN has appeared in front of St George Magistrates Court after trying to cross...