Canterbury’s British prop Luke Thompson has vowed to honour his contract despite suffering from homesickness in his maiden NRL season.
Thompson has battled in the NRL bubble, especially with his girlfriend currently unable to move to Australia due to Covid-19 international border restrictions.
The English international returned against the Gold Coast last week after being rested in Canterbury‘s game against Canberra in round 16.
Thompson revealed he will return to the UK in the off-season before coming back to Australia with his girlfriend.
His former St Helens coach Kristian Woolf recently said the “door was always open” if he wanted to return to the Super League, but he is focused on his NRL future.
“I’ve signed a three-year deal here and I’m fully committed to the Bulldogs,” said Thompson, who is contracted until the end of 2023.
“We’ve got the new coach next year and I’m really excited for the challenge and my future at the club.
“I’m also looking to bring my girlfriend back for next year, so it should be good.
“But it has been tough since I’ve been here. I’ve come to the other side of the world on my own, but I’ve just been focusing on the rugby and doing my best for the team each week.
“There is three weeks to go and we’ll go from there.”
Thompson has talked to new coach Trent Barrett on several occasions and he is excited about the future at Belmore despite the constant boardroom battles.
He believes that Barrett is the man to help the Bulldogs push the drama aside and rise up the ladder.
“I spoke to Trent briefly and he seems like a really good fella,” he said.
“He is also really excited about coming to the Bulldogs and trying to take this club forward.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Trent. Results haven’t been going our way, but we’ll take all this hurt from this year, have a good rest up and take it into next year.”
Thompson also responded to claims from Phil Gould that Canterbury’s board is a “toxic mess”.
He quickly dismissed any concerns when asked if he was worried about the club’s officials constantly being at war.
“No, not really,” said Thompson, who has played eight games for Canterbury since joining the team back in round 9.
“We just worry about the rugby on the field and what we can do at training.
“Since I’ve been here, everyone at the club has been great to me and I can only see the club going in one direction and I’m really excited to be part of that next year and going forward.”
Thompson is focused on finishing the season on a high, starting with Friday’s clash against Manly at ANZ Stadium.
He is confident that the Bulldogs can avoid the wooden spoon, but it won’t be easy following Kieran Foran’s season-ending pectoral injury.
“Kieran has been playing really well for us, but it is just unfortunate that he has picked up a pec injury,” he said.
“It looks like he is done for the season, but the boys are supporting him.”