St Helens have confirmed the signing of Manly forward Joel Thompson on a two-year deal from 2021.
The 32-year-old back-rower has been granted a release from the final year of his deal with the Sea Eagles next season to take up a contract with Saints.
Thompson has made 234 career appearances for Canberra Raiders, St George Illawarra Dragons and Manly. He is an Indigenous All Stars and Country Origin representative.
Thompson said: “I first want to pay thanks to everyone at Manly for all they have done for me and I wish them well in the future.
“To join a powerhouse of a club with the proud history of St Helens is something I am very excited about. I am looking forward to the challenge of earning the respect of my new club and fans.
“It is a great opportunity for me as well as my wife and two daughters to come over to the other side of the world. I remember playing in the World Club Series for the Dragons against Warrington in 2015. We beat them and I loved the atmosphere and I thought I want to experience more of that in the Super League and there is no better club to do that at than St Helens.”
👋 𝗪𝗲𝗹𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗝𝗧! ✍️
— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) October 21, 2020
St Helens coach Kristian Woolf said: “Joel is a player I have been familiar with in the NRL for a long time. He has had a strong career at a number of clubs in the NRL and he has shown what a tough competitor he is.
“Joel is a physical defensive player, but has speed and a skill set which will suit the game over here in Super League and he is highly respected.
“His community work as an RLPA Board member is fantastic and all the things we hear and see of him is exactly what we want at the Saints.”
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