Luke Thompson ready to make NRL debut with Canterbury Bulldogs

Luke Thompson could make his NRL debut just a week after getting out of quarantine.

Canterbury Bulldogs coach Dean Pay has named his new recruit in his 21-man squad to take on South Sydney on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, and the former St Helens star admits he’s ready to go.

“I’ve done two sessions so far,” Thompson told Sky Sports.

“I’m ready, you know I’m straight back into training, I felt like I’d not really been away.

“I kept myself fit through the isolation in England, I was training most days. I feel physically fit and I feel refreshed from the rest, obviously not taking a beating every week.

“I spoke with the coach and he said he would put me in the squad, and just said ‘no pressure’ and said he would work with me.

“I really want to play, I can’t wait to get out there and get playing, but I’ve been thrown straight in this week, so my legs have been in bits to be honest.”

Pay’s decision to include the England international in his squad just seven days after stepping out of quarantine, is a decision Sky Sports’ Brian Carney agrees with.

“If I was a coach and I assessed a player and felt he was physically ready for it, I would certainly put him in to bring some enthusiasm into a team that were very disappointing in their last defeat,” Carney said.

“I’m certainly looking forward to seeing him pulling on a Canterbury jersey. He has all the attributes to make a mark on the Australian game.”

While Thompson is eager to get back out on the pitch as soon as possible, the 25-year old admitted he didn’t want to rush anything.

“My groin and my hips took a bit of a beating so, if I don’t play this week, then maybe the week after, but we’ll just see how we go in the morning.”

The 2019 Harry Sunderland winner said he is settling into life in Australia, and his new captain, Josh Jackson has been showing him the ropes.

“They’re all great. Everyone has been really welcoming, all my team-mates, all the staff, so I feel like I’ve fitted in pretty well and loving it at the minute.


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“I’ve been for dinner and coffee with Josh Jackson. I’ve been out with him twice, he’s a really good lad. He leads by example at training as well.”

The Englishmen has been called the best prop in the world, a title that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Australian media. Asked if he was feeling any pressure, Thompson responded: “To be honest I don’t really look at external pressure and things like that.

“I put pressure on myself every day from the standards I set for myself. I want to be the best I can be. I put pressure on myself every day in training and the way I live my life with my diet and things like that, so I hope that takes care of what happens on the field.”


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Carney has no doubt Thompson will be a huge success in the NRL.

“There’s a relentless nature to Luke Thompson’s play, he’s not the tallest player in the world, he’s well-built but he’s not the tallest, but he’s very quick and a relentless individual.

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