Rugby league’s greatest current player will launch the new NRL season at a low-key event at Sydney’s Botanic Gardens on Thursday.
Johnathan Thurston has conquered the rugby league world over the past 12 months in leading North Queensland to their maiden premiership, returning State of Origin supremacy to Queensland and earning the Clive Churchill medal and the Golden Boot award in the process.
The superstar playmaker continued that run when the Cowboys won last week’s World Club Challenge in emphatic fashion over Leeds.
Many of the game’s leading players, including Cameron Smith, James Graham, Paul Gallen, Gareth Widdop and Jamie Lyon will be in attendance alongside NRL powerbrokers including John Grant and Todd Greenberg.
The NRL’s new ‘History Happens’ advertisement for the season will be shown in full for the first time at the launch.
The NRL season kicks off on Thursday March 3 when Kieran Foran’s Parramatta host Brisbane.
However the game remains without a chief executive more than five months after Dave Smith’s exit.