I want to make grief stricken family “smile”, says Thurston
Australian Test halfback Johnathan Thurston says he is vying for Rugby League World Cup glory in order to bring a welcome smile to the faces of his grief stricken family.
Thurston today broke his silence over the October 25 bashing death of his uncle Richard Saunders in Brisbane.
He said he wanted to inspire his family as they cope with the tragedy by playing well at the World Cup.
“To put a smile on their faces … makes it a little easier in this difficult time,” he told the Nine Network.
Thurston was man of the match in Australia’s opening World Cup win over New Zealand last month, just hours after learning of his uncle’s tragic death.
And he again stood out in Australia’s Cup win over PNG in Townsville on Sunday – just days after attending his uncle’s funeral.
Thurston tonight confirmed he was tempted to walk away from the Cup but was urged by his family to play on.
“They all sat down and wanted me to play in that game (against New Zealand),” he said.
“If they had wanted me to come home I would have come home.”
Unbeaten champions Australia take on surprise packets Fiji in the World Cup semi-finals in Sydney on Sunday.
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