Johnathan Thurston has taken out the player of the year prize at the Rugby League Players’ Association awards night.

North Queensland’s Johnathan Thurston has been awarded the RLPA Players’ Player Medal for a third time at the association’s awards night in Sydney.

A strong finish to the season saw Thurston, who claimed the accolade in 2005 and 2013, retain the title ahead of 2009 winner Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta), Anthony Milford (Canberra), Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne) and Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra).

The award is determined by votes lodged by players after each game of the NRL regular season.

“I pride myself on the way that I play so to be able to accept this award is truly humbling,” said Thurston who sent a video message from Townsville where he is preparing with the Cowboys team for this weekend’s semi-final against the Roosters.

“In my eyes there is no higher honour in the game (than) to be voted one of the best by your peers.”

Thurston was also named representative player of the year.