Cooper announces Cowboys’ NRL exit

North Queensland NRL premiership-winning veteran Gavin Cooper has announced the 2020 season will be his last at the Cowboys.

The 35-year-old backrower has played 321 first-grade games, including 245 for the Cowboys across two stints.

Born in Murgon, the North Queensland product debuted for the Cowboys in 2006 and returned to the club in 2011 after short spells at Gold Coast and Penrith.

Cooper formed a vaunted try-scoring partnership with Cowboys great Johnathan Thurston, three times scoring over 10 tries in a season.

As well as the 2015 grand-final win over Brisbane, Cooper played six matches for Queensland between 2016 and 2018 in State of Origin and was a part of the NRL All Stars team in 2017.

He also captained the club during their run to the 2017 grand final with Thurston and Matt Scott both injured.

Understandably the golden point win over the Broncos to claim the Cowboys’ first premiership stood out as Cooper’s career highlight.

Cooper will play his final home game for the Cowboys against Penrith this weekend before the 2020 campaign wraps up against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on September 24.

Whether Cooper retires or plays on overseas or at another NRL club in 2021 is expected to be clarified when he fronts a press conference on Tuesday.





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