St Helens confirm capture of Aussie forward Thompson

St Helens have confirmed the signing of Australian forward Joel Thompson.

As first revealed by League Express in June, the back-rower has joined the Super League champions on a two-year deal.

Highly-respected and highly-popular, the 32-year-old arrives in Super League after a 13-season career in the NRL.

He has remained a regular down under since 2011, playing for Canberra, St George and most recently the Sea Eagles.

Injury cut his season short in 2020 but he had previously played 20 games or more for four consecutive seasons.

“I first want to pay thanks to everyone at Manly for all they have done for me and I wish them well in the future,” he said.

“To join a powerhouse of a Club with the proud history of St Helens is something I am very excited about. I am looking forward to the challenge of earning the respect of my new club and fans.

“It is a great opportunity for me as well as my wife and two daughters to come over to the other side of the world. I remember playing in the World Club Series for the Dragons against Warrington in 2015. We beat them and I loved the atmosphere and I thought I want to experience more of that in the Super League and there is no better Club to do that at than St.Helens.”

The signing is Kristian Woolf’s first since his arrival, and he said: “Joel is a player I have been familiar with in the NRL for a long time. He has had a strong career at a number of clubs in the NRL and he has shown what a tough competitor he is.

“Joel is a physical defensive player, but has speed and a skill set which will suit the game over here in Super League and he is highly respected.

“His community work as an RLPA Board member is fantastic and all the things we hear and see of him is exactly what we want at the Saints.”