The 2015 grand final-winning captain and North Queensland and Australia star has played his final Origin match, following Thurston’s decision to make this year’s series the last of his illustrious career.

Thurston was in obvious physical discomfort throughout the second half of Wednesday night’s Origin II at ANZ Stadium, carrying and nurturing his arm as he attempted to protect his shoulder.

"After consultation with club medical and football staff, his management and family, the decision was taken for Thurston to have surgery after he sustained an injury in Wednesday night’s State of Origin match in Sydney," a statement from the Cowboys today said. "The timing of the surgery is still to be determined."

Credit to the champion player Thurston is, he was able to fend off the pain of the injury to continue to help orchestrate the Queensland backline, and even kicked a late-game pressure conversion out wide, which ultimately proved to be the winning goal for the visitors.

Thurston was due to play his 300th career club game this weekend in the Cowboys’ match against the Penrith Panthers. He is also likely to be unavailable for Australia at the Rugby League World Cup at the end of the year.

(Header photo by Getty Images)