Luke Thompson admits he is ‘devastated’ teammate is not part of the England squad

The former St Helens forward’s spell in Blue and White has been one of ups and downs, with injuries hampering his progress in the NRL.

Despite this, it was always likely that a fit Thompson would be in Shaun Wane’s mind when selecting his squad for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup, and the 27-year-old was named amongst the 24 players trying to lead England to glory last week.

One man not among those 24 players through was Thompson’s former Saints teammate Alex Walmsley who misses the tournament through injury, and his former forward partner admits it was tough news to take, though he is looking forward to seeing some other old faces.

Thompson said: “I have missed a few of the lads, I have got some good mates there. I spent eight years at St Helens, so I am looking forward to linking up with a few of the lads again.

“I was devastated hearing the news about Big Al (Alex Walmsley), but, you know it’s just one of them, but I’m sure the next guy who comes up will do a job for us, and we should be alright.”

For Thompson himself, a return to English soil is one he has been looking forward to having not played the international game for three years.

He added: “Obviously I have played for England before and it means a lot to me pulling that shirt on so I can’t wait to get going in this World Cup and hopefully try bring the World Cup back to England.

“The last time I played international rugby was when we went to New Zealand with Great Britain back in 2019 so obviously, I have not played for my country for a while so it’s going to be pretty special.”

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