There’s plenty of sporting siblings in rugby but very few split the codes with one opting for union and the other league, however that’s the case with Leo and Tyrone Thompson.
At least that’s the case currently, it’s being reported that Newcastle Knights are set to reunite the brothers by signing rugby union star Tyrone and bringing him on board to join Leo.
The Daily Telegraph are reporting that Tyrone has agreed to sign for the Knights from the 2025 season, signifying a code switch for the 23-year-old who has racked up All Blacks second team appearances in the 15-man game.
He is currently playing as a hooker in the southern hemisphere’s Super Rugby competition, representing the Chiefs.
Playing at hooker he’s landed three tries in 15 games this season whilst earning his second-team representative caps, as well as playing one game for the Maori All Blacks too.
Recently the NRL have shifted focus in trying to recruit from the other code given that the chairman of the Australian Rugby League Commission, Peter V’landys, has announced that players poached from other codes would not count against the salary cap.
The dispensation on the cap therefore makes these players worth a punt and would obviously weaken rugby union, thereby preventing the code from taking away league stars such as Samoa’s Joseph Suaali’i who is expected to link up with Australian rugby union.
Tyrone Thompson therefore is expected to join his twin brother, Leo, for the 2025 season once his contract with the Chiefs has expired with the expectation that he would play in the forward pack, most likely prop.
Twin brother Leo plays both prop and lock and has represented New Zealand three times, all appearances coming in 2023 during the victorious Pacific Championship games.
Leo has played for the Knights 41 times across the past two seasons and was a key member in helping guide them to the play-offs in 2023, during which Newcastle went on a ten game winning run.
They’re set to lose winger Dom Young with the Englishman leaving to join Sydney Roosters after a record-breaking season for the Knights.
Young broke the record for the most tries by a Knights player in a single season, showing his class and making it evident just why the Roosters wanted to sign him.
The Knights also featured Jackson Hastings, former Man of Steel, however the playmaker is currently rehabbing from a serious injury and is in a race to get fit for the start of the season.