North Queensland Toyota Cowboys life member Johnathan Thurston was lucky enough to play alongside some of the modern-day greats over his 17-year NRL career.
Whether it was club legends like Matt Bowen, Jason Taumalolo, Michael Morgan or Matt Scott or representative teammates Cooper Cronk, Greg Inglis, Darren Lockyer, Billy Slater or Andrew Johns, Thurston has played with some of the greatest to ever play the game.
However, when asked by Peter Parr on the Cowboys Then & Now Podcast to choose the best he played alongside, the 38-year-old couldn’t go past Cameron Smith.
“I moved to the Cowboys because of Matty Bowen,” Thurston said.
“I idolised [Darren Lockyer]. That was when all the video technology came out so I could watch his and [Andrew Johns] game and try and mould my game on that.
“Whilst Locky and Joey were six sets ahead of everyone, Cameron Smith was ten sets ahead. He was doing something before anyone else even thought about why he was doing that.
“If I’m playing backyard footy I’m picking Matt Bowen, but if we are playing on the rugby league field I’m picking Cameron Smith.”