Thurston voted RLPA Players Player
Johnathan Thurston has been awarded the Rugby League Players Association Players Player Medal at the tenth annual RLPA Awards presentation staged tonight at Doltone House in Sydney.
Its the second time the North Queensland Cowboys' co-captain has claimed the Medal that was first presented to him in 2005.
This year Thurston edged out Todd Carney (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), Anthony Watmough (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles) and Sonny-Bill Williams (Sydney Roosters) in a tightly contested vote.
Thurston, 30, was unable to attend the dinner but recorded a video message with three month old daughter Frankie Louise on his knee.
A massive thank you to the players of the game, said Thurston.
"To be voted by your peers as the best, (there) is no higher honour in the game.
I'm extemely humbled and it's a privilege to be voted by your peers so I just want to thank you all for that and I hope you all have wonderful night.
The RLPA Players' Player Medal is determined through votes cast by players for their opponents (3, 2, 1) after each Round of the regular season
The RLPA Rookie of the Year Award went to South Sydney prop George Burgess who attended with big brother Sam and mum Julie.
Penrith Panthers Bryce Cartwright was named the RLPA National Youth Competition Player of the Year while in the representative ranks Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm) was named the Australian Representative Player of the Year and Issac Luke (South Sydney Rabbitohs) the New Zealand Representative Player of the Year.
The prestigious RLPA Dennis Tutty Award was presented to Penrith Panthers Clint Newton who, in his role as General President of the RLPA, has made a significant contribution to the work of the Assocation.
Scott Prince (Brisbane Broncos) was recognised for achieving his 300 game career milestone while the New Zealand quartet of Kevin Proctor, Dean Whare, Sam Kasiano and Tohu Harris received RLPA Chairman's Awards for having made their international debut in 2012-2013.
David Bhana (New Zealand Warriors) was named the RLPA National Youth Competition Education and Welfare Player of the Year while Sam Perrett (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) and Bryan Norrie (Melbourne Storm) shared the honours in the RLPA NRL Education and Welfare Player of the Year category.
Six players were inducted into the RLPA Origin Gold Club for having made 15 or more appearances for their State. NSW Origin Captain Paul Gallen (16 games) joined Queensland players Brent Tate (21 games), Justin Hodges (18 games), Darius Boyd (17 games) and Ashley Harrison (15 games) in the current player list.
Maroons' great Kevin Walters, who played 20 games between 1988 and 1999, was also added to the exclusive member list.