Wigan Warriors’ Luke Thompson on Good Friday derby against former club St Helens

Drew Darbyshire
Luke Thompson Wigan Warriors Alamy

Wigan Warriors prop Luke Thompson will come up against his former club St Helens for the first time on Good Friday in front of a sold-out crowd.

The former Saints front-rower, who has spent the last four seasons in the NRL with Canterbury Bulldogs, returned to Super League ahead of 2024, signing a four-year contract with Wigan.

Thompson came through the ranks at Saints, making 164 appearances in the Red V between 2013 and 2020 before making his move Down Under.

This Friday, the England international will come up against his former club Saints for the first time at a sold-out Totally Wicked Stadium, and although he expects to receive a bit of banter from the home fans, he says he is simply focused on the task in hand: getting the two points.

Speaking after Wigan’s 44-18 win over Sheffield Eagles in the Challenge Cup sixth round, Thompson said: “I’ve not really thought too much about the emotion of it, I’m just doing my job week-to-week here but we’ll approach it as we’ve got a job to do on the weekend and focus on that first, try not to get sucked into too many emotions and stuff, and just focus on my job. I’ll probably cop a bit of stick but I’ve got a job to do and I’ll just focus on that.”

Thompson is looking forward to going up against a few of his former team-mates and good pals this weekend, having won two Grand Finals alongside Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, Jonny Lomax and his former front-row partner Alex Walmsley.

He added: “I’ll probably just catch up with them after the game but it will be good to come across them lads and a few of my good friends there and a lot of good people at the club who I worked with for a few years so I look forward to coming up against them and seeing them at the weekend.”

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Wigan’s traditional derby clash with Saints goes back decades, and having worn the Red V many a time against Wigan, it’s now time for Thompson to pull on the cherry and white hoops against St Helens.

“Good Friday is definitely one you want to play in, the atmosphere is electric, you feed off it no matter which side you’re on,” Thompson said. “I’ll just look forward to getting out there, getting amongst it and hopefully we can come out on the right side of the scoreline.

“I just remember electric games, fast games, big crowds on, especially on Good Friday with the afternoon kick-off. Hopefully the weather is good and the fans get out in numbers, and I’m sure it’ll be a great spectacle and one that I can’t wait to play in.

“It’s just the atmosphere and the energy of the crowd, you feed off that. It definitely picks you up a few levels energy-wise and that’s what makes for a great game.”

The Totally Wicked Stadium is sold-out for the Easter derby, with 18,000 tickets sold, but you can watch the game live on Sky Sports Main Event and Action on Friday, 3pm kick-off.

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