Former St Helens forward Luke Thompson has posted for the first time since returning to Australia – and he looks in incredible shape.
The England international had returned to the UK to care of personal circumstances with the rumour mill swirling around that he would be leaving Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL for a Super League side.
General Manager of the Bulldogs – the club where Thompson is on the books – Phil Gould revealed that the hulking forward would return to Belmore once the family issue had been resolved.
“Luke has not seen his family for a couple of years and we felt it important he returns home now during this difficult time,” Gould told the Daily Mail.
“He is to return to Australia on July 8th, but much will depend on how things play out back home. Some things in life are just far more important than football.”
Thompson has indeed returned to hopefully play a big role in Canterbury’s run in to the end of the season with a finals spot still not out of reach, reposting a photo of himself in training with the caption: “Back 2 work with the lads.”
The Englishman is on big bucks at the Canterbury Bulldogs and there has been talk over the past year that the Bulldogs would be open to letting the 26-year-old go in a bid to ease salary cap pressure, with Viliame Kikau and Reed Mahoney already on their way to Canterbury next season.
Previously, the Daily Telegraph had revealed that Melbourne Storm were sniffing round the Super League Grand Final winner, with Storm losing veteran prop Jesse Bromwich to new franchising system the Dolphins as they begin their NRL life in 2023.
Thompson was reportedly offered to the Wests Tigers before the season started, but he previously said he was determined to stay at Belmore until the end of his contract.
Thompson has been one of the bright sparks for Canterbury since joining and has earned himself a reputation Down Under for bulldozing runs and big hits in defence.
It’s great news for Canterbury, though, that he is back in training and ready to go after a difficult time.