Thurston rumours don't bother Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thurston rumours don't bother Cowboys

By Laine Clark 24/07/2009 07:37:31 PM Comments (0)

Speculation about North Queensland captain Johnathan Thurston's future doesn't seem to bother Cowboys boss Peter Parr.

In fact, the North Queensland chief executive jokingly added to the rumours after hearing overseas rugby clubs were the latest expected to make a play at signing the Cowboys halfback.

"Next week it might be English Super League clubs," Parr told AAP ahead of North Queensland's crunch NRL clash with Penrith at Townsville on Saturday night.

"Last week it was the Bulldogs, Wednesday it was the Eels, yesterday it was Japanese rugby - today it is French rugby union."

All jokes aside, none of the speculation has prompted the Cowboys to fast-track talks with Thurston, off contract at the end of 2010.

Parr is standing by an agreement with Thurston's agent Sam Ayoub that they delay contract talks until the end of the season.

"I would have to be fairly stupid to think other clubs weren't going to show interest in him - you would have to have rocks in your head if you thought that was the case," Parr said of the speculation.

"But my stance hasn't changed and it won't change.

"I made an agreement with Sam Ayoub last November that we would not talk until the end of this season and I have no intention of reneging on the agreement."

Parr said he trusted Ayoub "100 per cent" that the agent would also keep his end of the bargain.

"It (speculation) just goes to show we have one of the most talented footballers in the world," Parr said.

"We are lucky to have him at the moment and hopefully still have in the future.

"There's obviously going to be a lot for him to think about - which was always going to be the case."

French rugby clubs are the latest linked to luring Thurston following reports that Parramatta could offer up to $700,000 a season to the Test half.

The Bulldogs and the Warriors are the other NRL clubs expected to be keen while Japanese rugby clubs are reportedly set to offer the halfback a deal worth up to $1 million a season.

If Cowboys coach Neil Henry was worried about the rugby threat, he didn't show it on Friday.

"I think we have a wonderful product here. And I think the game is very resilient," he said.

"Any players that go and play overseas, it's not like we have missed them the following week - clubs have moved on.

"The game is bigger than the individuals moving in and out of it and always will be."

Henry has more immediate priorities as the Cowboys (6th; 9-8 record) fight to remain in the top eight hunt against the Panthers (7th; 9-8).

Reduced to picking their fourth choice hooker - regular pivot Travis Burns - after Anthony Watts' suspension in last round's disappointing 34-14 loss to the Wests Tigers, the Cowboys know time is running out to secure a finals berth.

Especially with a tough run home - Gold Coast (away), Melbourne (away), Bulldogs (home), Newcastle (away), Broncos (home), Sydney Roosters (away).

Henry was "extremely confident" Maroons prop Matt Scott and fellow forward Antonio Kaufusi (both knee injuries) would play.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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