Luke Thompson flattered by James Graham comparisons

Luke Thompson says it is an honour for him to be compared to his St Helens hero James Graham.

The 23-year-old enjoyed real breakthrough year in 2018 as he made the Super League Dream Team as well as earning his first international cap for England.

Thompson played four times for his country last year and got to play alongside his hero Graham on the international stage.

“I’ve heard a few people compare me to him and that can only be a good thing for me,” Thompson told loverugbyleague.com.

“Jammer is a legend and was an idol of mine growing up. He’s a great mate as well, I spent a fair bit of time with him in the England camp so it’s a very nice thing for me to be compared to him.

“I got a taste of international football at the end of the year and I loved it. It is great being part of the England team and it’s definitely a goal of mine this year to get into the national side again and represent my country.

“I’ll be doing all I can and giving 100% every week for Saints to make sure I get that call-up.”

St Helens are the only team in Super League who remain unbeaten so far in 2019, with them sitting at the top of Super League having won all six of their games.

Saints are Betfred’s favourites to win the Grand Final this year, but Thompson insists the team won’t be fazed by outside pressure.

“I don’t really look at the external pressure because we set pressure on ourselves with the standards we set internally,” Thompson added.

“As long as we live up to our own standards then we should really get to where we want to be, but we don’t really look at the expectations from the outside.

“There have been good additions to the team this year. [Joseph] Paulo has been working with me in the middle and is a ball playing loose forward who has a bag of tricks up his sleeve.

“Lachlan [Coote] has played in a great team at the [North Queensland] Cowboys for a number of years and Kev [Naiqama] is a beast and he will be hard to stop, so we’ve got some great recruits and it’s exciting to see what we can do this year.”