SYDNEY - North Queensland superstar Johnathan Thurston will don the Cowboys No.16 jersey for Friday's NRL clash with Cronulla as a sign of support for Alex McKinnon.
Thurston will swap his No.7 jersey for McKinnon's number as part of a personal tribute for the NRL's Rise for Alex round this weekend.
As a mark of respect to McKinnon, the Knights have retired their No.16 jersey for the duration of the NRL season after he suffered a spinal injury as an interchange forward against Melbourne in March.
Both the Knights and McKinnon have thrown their support behind Thurston's move.
His jumper will be auctioned to raise funds for McKinnon.
Thurston said it was his way of lending his support to the cause.
"There's no doubt that everyone at the Cowboys, and in our game in general, has been touched by Alex's situation and the incredible way he has handled his adversity," Thurston said in a statement yesterday.
"The way he has dealt with what has happened has been inspirational.
"Wearing the number he wore in his final match is going to be a privilege for me and hopefully provide even more awareness for the Rise For Alex Round.
"I'd like to thank Alex and the Knights for allowing me to have this opportunity to promote the Rise For Alex cause and hope that this one-off 16 jersey prompts some serious bidding."