Thurston ready to quit NRL

Zaibatsu

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**Johnathan Thurston ready to quit over pressure**
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_Peter Badel and Greg Davis | July 26, 2009 12:00am_
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RUGBY league's No. 1 player Johnathan Thurston is considering quitting the NRL in the wake of Queensland's booze and party-drug allegations.
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Off-contract at the end of 2010, the Cowboys captain is furious with reports he had a heated row with Maroons assistant Neil Henry, also his club coach, for allegedly drinking too heavily in the lead-up to Origin III.
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Thurston is believed to have earned the ire of Queensland team management for his preparation, although there is no suggestion he is at the centre of explosive claims some Maroons players mixed Stilnox with the high-energy drink Red Bull.
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A disillusioned Thurston is fed up with constant scrutiny of his private life and is weighing up a $1.1 million a season offer from Japanese rugby.
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The Sunday Mail has also learned that the practice of mixing sleeping pills with high-energy drinks has been in the code for four years.
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And as the Queensland Rugby League began a probe into the party-drug allegations, it is understood at least one Maroons star laughed off the drama, claiming hard partying was part and parcel of pre-match camps.
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In a controversial aftermath to Queensland's failed bid for a clean sweep:
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• Queensland team manager Steve Walters admitted he was unhappy with the conduct of a group of players before Game III;
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• Two NRL clubs, having learned of rumours about possible drug use, drug-tested their respective Maroons stars upon their return to club training; and
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• Maroons prop Steve Price said he had taken sleeping tablets, but only for their intended purpose.
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A source close to Thurston revealed the halfback had been at "breaking point" more than once in recent years, prompting the playmaker to seek psychological help 16 months ago to help him conquer self-doubt and the pressures of life in the sporting spotlight.
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Reports yesterday alleged Cowboys coach Henry, assistant to Mal Meninga, took Thurston to task for drinking too heavily in the lead-up to the match.
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The 26-year-old fired back at Henry, saying he was entitled to "have a life".
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The subsequent fallout has prompted Thurston to assess whether he should follow the lead of former league stars Mark Gasnier and Craig Gower and head abroad to escape the all-consuming spotlight of the NRL.
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"I can't guarantee Johnathan will stay at the Cowboys beyond his current deal," Thurston's manager Sam Ayoub said. "When the time comes, he has instructed me to look at every option, including interest from abroad.
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"In saying that, Johnathan has been with the Cowboys a long time, he's had great success there, and he will give them every chance to keep him.
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"The level of expectation is enormous, not only game to game but week to week. 'JT' is under enormous pressure to win games, it's OK for people wanting to jump on the bandwagon when he's winning games for Queensland but then they want to bring him down.
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"JT is elite because he manages pressure better than most, but he can only manage it to a certain level.
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"A lot of players look for an outlet.
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"If someone offers you $1 million to work somewhere else for half as much pressure and stress, what would you do? That is the way Johnathan Thurston is feeling."
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Of Thurston's reported spat with Henry, Ayoub said: "There may have been an incident but it was two human beings who are in each other's lives day-in and day-out. It wouldn't be healthy if they didn't have a disagreement every now and again. If it was something major, Johnathan would have me involved trying to sort things out with Neil. But that hasn't happened."
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While Thurston has been an outstanding contributor for the Cowboys on the park, off it he has been subjected to enormous scrutiny.
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The Queensland sensation was arrested for public drunkenness on Australia Day last year after reportedly locking himself out of his Townsville home.
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He has also been hounded by a woman alleging she had a relationship with Thurston, but the halfback has angrily refuted the claims.
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Henry refused to comment on his alleged bust-up with Thurston, but was dismayed by suggestions some Queensland players had dabbled in a cocktail of Stilnox tablets and Red Bull.
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"I've only heard about this. I haven't seen evidence of it happening in my time," he said.
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"I haven't got any evidence players were out. I will say it was a difficult preparation to get right because the series had been won.
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"I'm surprised by the story because there is some insinuation that the camp was organised to go, drink one day, then rest, then drink, then rest . . . it wasn't like that at all.
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"If any players got out and about and did things outside that, that's purely speculation."
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Walters said he did not witness any drunken atrocities but conceded the actions of some players did not adhere to Meninga's strict behavioural benchmarks.
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"There were a couple of nights where we weren't happy with their general attitudes," he said.
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"We'll be looking into that to see what we can do and whether we have to take any action now to make things better next time.
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"I won't get into specifics but certainly I was disappointed with the attitude of a couple of players.
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"I don't know anything about guys on the drink on Monday night (two days before Origin III) . . . that's why I'll be looking into the matter and confirming any details."
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Maroons veteran Price said the Origin III preparations weren't ideal but claimed he had no knowledge of teammates using party drugs.
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"Looking back at the camp, we could have prepared better," he said.
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"I was quarantined for three days so I'm probably not the best guy to comment on this.
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"I did not see anyone taking Stilnox in that manner. Maybe I'm getting old but I've never even heard of mixing it with drinks. I don't drink Red Bull, I have no idea what it does for you.
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"I've taken them (sleeping tablets) a couple of times because of the travel we do."

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/sport/nrl/story/0,26746,25834371-5003409,00.html
 

Geo

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Maybe he should go to Pacific Bay Coffs Harbour …get away from the pressure go for a swim in the pool.....Geez grub the high profile pressure of being an NRL footballer...Sayonara JT....have fun
 
G

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If he wants to go then I'll help pack his bag. Thurston is a sook and a grub of the highest order.
 

JRD

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@Zaibatsu said:
**Johnathan Thurston ready to quit over pressure**
>
_Peter Badel and Greg Davis | July 26, 2009 12:00am_
\
\
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• Maroons prop Steve Price said he had taken sleeping tablets, but only for their intended purpose.
>
."

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/sport/nrl/story/0,26746,25834371-5003409,00.html

No it was Brett White knocking you out you dope :laughing:
 

anderson_silva

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ohwell atleast if he goes the best halfback in the comp will finally get a go at state and country level
 

alien

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I wouldn't blame him if he took the AU$1,100,00 per year. That's alot of money.

It will also make the QLD Maroons team weaker :smiley:
 

Rorko

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Not really, there back up half is none other than scotty prince and well id prob have him in front of thurston anyway
 

Juro

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@Rorko said:
Not really, there back up half is none other than scotty prince and well id prob have him in front of thurston anyway

Yeah, that was what I was thinking…
 

Marshall_magic

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There's the door Thurston, here's your boarding pass, now off you go. Don't come back, we won't miss you, and you'll be forgotten by this time next year like all the others who took the money in overseas Rah Rah.
 

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