Luke Thompson is one of England’s best players when he’s at the peak of his powers and sadly during his stint in the NRL he just hasn’t been at that level consistently with a number of injuries hampering the former St Helens star forward.
Thompson is still only 28 and should be coming into his prime years as a bruising prop forward but injuries have derailed this 2023 campaign, this being his third year in the NRL with Canterbury Bulldogs.
The ex Saint hadn’t played since February’s pre-season games missing a total of five months due to a foot injury but fears that the off-contract star would miss the whole season have been quashed, with Thompson featuring for the Bulldogs reserves this past weekend and putting in a brilliant showing at that too.
Given that Thompson heads off contract at the end of the season the rumours have been rife all season as to what happens next and whether that is a return to Super League where he lifted the 2019 Grand Final with St Helens.
One major stumbling block in that would be that Thompson is currently earning a monster $800,000 per year, something that would likley rule him out as a target for any Super League sides especially if there are doubts over an injury.
That’s why this return to play is so pivotal for Thompson with Fox Sports reporting that Thompson clocked just over half an hour’s worth of action, during which he made an impressive 103 metres on 10 carries and made 15 tackles with just two missed.
The fears that he would miss the whole season now look to be simmering down with the Sydney Morning Herald reporting that the Bulldogs expect him to be in with a shot at their next match, which comes in just under a fortnight when he could line up against Dom Young’s Newcastle Knights.
Getting game time to prove he’s worth the hefty price tag he comes with is essential for a future contract, be that in the NRL or Super League, but one English team who had previously been linked with him can safely be ruled out fo the equation.
Wigan Warriors had been reportedly interested but given that they have acquired two younger English props in Tyler Dupree and Sam Walters for their future front line then it appears unlikely.
With the current injuries to St Helens’ forward pack a return to the Totally Wicked could be on the cards.