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Thurston keen to keep perfect UK record

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/11/2016 Ian McCullough

Johnathan Thurston won't be setting foot on a pitch in England ever again after the Four Nations final at Anfield but is desperate to maintain his unbeaten record on UK soil.

Thurston, along with Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Greg Inglis, are all on their fourth tour of the UK and none have ever been on the losing side.

A 20-all draw with New Zealand in 2009 is the closest they've come to defeat in the 14 matches they've played in the green and gold.

Thurston will retire from representative football after the Rugby League World Cup next year in Australia and said Sunday's decider against the Kiwis at the home of Liverpool FC would be the perfect place to finish.

"I'm not really a soccer fan but I am well aware of Anfield, these types of ground are well known around the world and it would be a great place to win," Thurston said.

"It's certainly going to be my last tour here. It's something I've thought about a little bit, but my mindset is all about my preparation and getting myself right."

"I've said already I will finish up from rep footy in 2017 but my focus is just about winning this match against the Kiwis."

Thurston has only tasted defeat twice in his 36-match international career, both against New Zealand in the 2008 World Cup final and in the Anzac Test in 2015.

Although the Kangaroos have looked the far more impressive side in this competition, the 33-year-old said there are no secrets between the two sides.

"Both teams know all about each other, a lot of us play together at club footy and we know how dangerous they are and they will say the same about us," Thurston said.

"If we don't perform as well as we did against England then we could well lose.

"They are full of great players and ranked No.1 in the world but we want that prize."

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