Red-faced Thurston is back training with Cowboys

BACK IN TRAINING: Johnathan Thurston's shoulder is right and he has his sights on the 2018 premiership.
BACK IN TRAINING: Johnathan Thurston's shoulder is right and he has his sights on the 2018 premiership. Evan Morgan

JOHNATHAN Thurston says he was so mortified by his "mind blank" in the Kangaroos' historic acknowledgement of country to start 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 Australia 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.

"I didn't leave the house for two weeks," Thurston said after returning to Cowboys training this week.

"I'm really disappointed in myself for what happened. Hopefully I'll get another opportunity to right the wrongs there."

Thurston is looking forward to preparing for what will be his final NRL season in 2018 - and maybe a fairytale premiership.

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

While Thurston is back training with the team after 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.

"It should be at full strength after Christmas."

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."

Ben Glover

Topics:  cowboys johnathan thurston kangaroos

News Corp Australia

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