Thompson: Loving every second

Luke Thompson says he is ‘loving every second’ of his time at Wigan as the Warriors prepare to face Leigh Leopards at The Brick Community Stadium.

Despite playing his amateur rugby across Billinge Hill, Thompson grew up in Ashton-in-Makerfield and attended St Edmund Arrowsmith High School alongside former Warriors Joe Burgess and Oliver Gildart.

Speaking on his friendship with the pair, Thompson said: “I was in the same form class as Budgie [Joe Burgess] and we then played on the same school team as Ollie [Oliver Gildart] who played in the year above. [On Joe] He played for Ince Rose Bridge whilst I played for Pilkington Recs so we had some good amateur games against each other which always made Monday mornings interesting.”

Thompson ended an eight-year stint in Super League with St Helens in 2020 when he signed a three-year deal with NRL side Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

Photo: Paul Currie/

On the move to the Sydney-based side, Thompson said: “It was one of the toughest but best decisions I’ve ever made. Playing in the NRL was always an ambition so when the opportunity came it was one that I couldn’t turn it down. I learnt so many lessons whilst over there and I developed as a player through some difficult periods.”

Thompson’s time in Australia coincided with Covid-19 which meant the forward had to wait until his final season to be visited by family: “My dad and brother flew over in my final year to watch the first game of the NRL season.

“They’d watched one trial game before we went to the Gold Coast to celebrate their birthdays. I injured my foot on the Tuesday before the season started so instead of watching the first game – the reason they flew over – they pushed me out of hospital in a wheelchair.

“I ended up missing most the season which was devastating but I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. I believe that’s part of the reason I’m here at Wigan and I’m loving every second of my time so far.”

Despite missing out on the World Club Challenge success over Penrith Panthers after failing a HIA on his Club debut away at Castleford Tigers, Thompson started in the Betfred Challenge Cup Final victory over Warrington Wolves last month.

“It was really disappointing to miss out on the World Club Challenge,” Thompson said, “but the lads got the job done in bringing the trophy back home to Wigan.

“Winning at Wembley was awesome – one of those pinch yourself moments. To play and win at Wembley in my first season back in England was special. It was great to be able to then celebrate the success with all our supporters back at Robin Park Arena on the Sunday.”

Thompson started for England in their 40-8 mid-season victory over France in Toulouse last weekend alongside Harry Smith, Tyler Dupree and Brad O’Neill, who made his international debut in the win.

Photo: Alex Whitehead/

On representing England, Thompson said: “When Waney [Shaun Wane] asked if I wanted to be in the squad it was an opportunity I had to take with both hands – It’s always special putting the England shirt on. It was great to share the occasion with Brad who played very well and thoroughly deserved the shot.”

Nine of the Warriors’ 13 remaining Betfred Super League matches will be played at The Brick Community Stadium, starting with Friday’s clash against Leigh Leopards: “It’s exciting having the majority of our remaining matches at home. Our fans are behind us every week and their continued support will be crucial going into the back end of the year.”

The Warriors host Leigh Leopards at The Brick Community Stadium on Friday with tickets still available to purchase from the Ticket Office and online HERE. Secure your seat for all nine remaining Betfred Super League home matches with a season ticket HERE.

Luke Thompson is sponsored by Cadena Global

Thursday 04 July 2024