Former St Helens forward Luke Thompson is nearing a move to Super League move.
Thompson is currently in the UK after being granted compassionate leave by his current NRL club Canterbury Bulldogs.
General Manager of the Bulldogs – the club where Thompson is on the books – Phil Gould revealed that the hulking forward had returned for a ‘mystery family issue.’
“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.”
The Englishman is on big bucks at the Canterbury Bulldogs and there has been talk over the past year that the Canterbury 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.
However, Serious About Rugby League understands that the ex-Saints man will not be at Canterbury in 2023, with a move to Super League now likely given his return to the country.
Leeds Rhinos will have to do some salary cap jiggling in order to fit him on their books, whilst there is always a chance of a renaissance with old club Saints.
Big spenders Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and Hull FC will likely be casting their eye, too.
And its Wigan fans who want to see Thompson don their colours most of all, with supporters pleading with the club to sign him.
Please @WiganWarriorsRL https://t.co/1QSqnCcVyh
— Cameron Don-Duncan (@CamDonDuncan) July 14, 2022
Sign him up @WiganWarriorsRL https://t.co/f5cC59uteZ
— Alex Jukes (@WiganJukes) July 14, 2022
Wigan fans weren’t the only ones, however, with Leeds supporters also wanting to see Thompson in their ranks.
Would be a dream for Leeds this! https://t.co/2jd5O4R4BR
— KlichBate (@KlichBait) July 14, 2022
Leeds are doing everything they can to get Luke Thompson in early mellor Broadbent and walker maybe Dwyer could go early…good thinking from the club sooner the better and will give us the boost we need an with give prior abit of a rest to the bench!!!
— Josh biggs (@joshbiggs213) July 5, 2022