Canterbury Bulldogs prop Luke Thompson returns to St Helens

The former Saints player has been given leave of absence by his NRL club.

<p>Luke Thompson in action for St Helens. </p>

Luke Thompson in action for St Helens.

Former St Helens prop Luke Thompson has been given leave of absence by his NRL club, Canterbury Bulldogs, to return home to deal with what the Sydney Morning Herald describes as ‘a personal matter.’

Bulldogs general manager Phil Gould said the England international, who moved Down Under just before the pandemic, has been missing from the Canterbury side with concussion problems of late, suffering from delayed symptoms following a match against the St George Illawarra Dragons on May 29.

Gould added: “There are more important things in life than football but we are hoping the short break to visit his family, who he hasn’t seen for two years, will assist his recovery.

“We are expecting Luke will be back by July 8 but it all depends how things work out back home.”

⭕ Saints, who have suffered their fair share of suspensions this season, will have breathed a sigh of relief when none of their players were in the dock at Monday’s meeting of the RFL disciplinary panel, leaving head coach Kristian Woolf a strong-looking squad to select from to face the Catalans Dragons in a top of the table Super League showdown at the Stade Gilbert Brutus on Saturday, injuries permitting.

⭕ Six St Helens players, Ben Lane, Sam Haynes, Ellis Archer, George Delaney, Kalan Devine and McKenzie Buckley, were in the Lancashire side which defeated Yorkshire 38-20 at the A.J. Bell Stadium, Salford, on Sunday to open a 2-0 lead in the three-match Academy Origin Series.

None of the Saints youngsters registered points but forward Delaney set-up Lancashire’s first try for Warrington hooker Aiden Doolan and then in the second half full back Lane’s sublime pass sent centre Zach Eckersley of Wigan Warriors roaring over the whitewash.