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Toyota Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston is set to be part of his team’s defence of their NRL Auckland Nines title early next year.

Visiting Auckland today for a series of media interviews to promote the tournament, JT revealed he will part of the 2015 North Queensland squad after missing the inaugural Nines earlier this year and “being jealous” of not being part of the victory.

“I’m going to be heading out next year to help the boys defend the title,” JT told Radio Live Sport.

“It looked like too much fun to be sitting on the sidelines.

“Over 90,000 people came through the gates through the two days this year. The atmosphere looked like it was amazing.

“From speaking to the boys, they really enjoyed it.

“Eden Park has a lot of tradition with great rugby games and I remember playing a Test there as well.

“It’d be great to get back there.”

Victorious Nines captain Gavin Cooper, who joined his good mate for the day of Nines promotions, said he was planning on a return visit to the 2015 tournament on 31 January-1 February.

“I was only looking at it the other day on the phone – a two-minute video I have of a Mexican wave that kept going around and around – and it brought back plenty of good memories,” he said.

“Hopefully that same atmosphere is there again next year.

“If it builds on last year, it will be massive.”

Currently sidelined by a shoulder injury, JT said it had been “very hard” watching the Kangaroos playing in the Four Nations tournament without him.

“There’s no higher honour than a Test jumper. I love playing for my country,” the champion halfback said.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.