Eamonn McManus issues warning over possible approaches for Luke Thompson

James Messenger

St Helens Chairman Eamonn McManus has issued a warning to South Sydney Head Coach Wayne Bennett after reports in Australia suggested he was preparing to lure Luke Thompson to the NRL.

Bennett is currently in the UK to meet with his England Performance Squad in what is the second of four scheduled meet-ups ahead of Great Britain’s tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Thompson has been a standout performer for the table-topping Saints this season and still has 18 months left to run on his current deal.

Nevertheless, Wide World of Sports claim than the Rabbitohs are preparing a transfer fee to try and encourage the 24-year-old to make the move down under.

McManus says that Thompson remains a firm part of their plans as they seek to achieve silverware in the years ahead, and added that he will call for an RFL investigation if allegations of poaching by the Australian coach are proven to be true.

Speaking to the Mirror, he said: “My view on it is that if there are any approaches to Luke then it is a complete abuse of power.

“It’s something that we foresaw when Wayne Bennett was appointed English coach.

“You’re letting the fox into the chicken coop. This is a coach at an NRL club, not just an Australian who is coaching England as his full-time job.

“The RFL are paying him handsomely to coach our players, not poach our players. If there is any truth in this then I will be speaking vigorously to the RFL about it.

“Luke Thompson has got 18 months left on his contract and our intention is that he fulfils it and we want to extend it.

“We’ve invested 10 years in the lad and he’s one of the best players in a very good side. We believe he can win things and be a key player at St Helens for a very long time.”