VALE LANCE THOMPSON

The rugby league world is in shock following reports former Dragons and Sharks back-rower Lance Thompson has been found dead at his home this morning.

Thompsom, who was just 40, played 239 first-grade games from 1995-2008 and only recently appeared on Andrew Voss’ show The Fan to recount his admirable career.

The red-headed forward was only 17 and still at high school when he broke into St George’s first-grade line-up, coming off the bench four times late in the 1995 season. A two-time Australian Schoolboys rep, he scored his first points in the top flight at Mount Smart Stadium, booting a goal in the Dragons’ 47-14 demolition of the Auckland Warriors in his third outing.

Thompson forged a permanent spot in the Saints’ squad in 1996 and played a prominent role in their charge to that year’s grand final, a 20-8 loss to Manly, joining a select group of players to appear in a decider at just 18 years of age.

The Hurstville United junior endured grand final heartbreak again in 1999 as St George Illawarra went down to Melbourne 20-18.

Compact but lionhearted, Thompson made the first of five appearances for City Origin in 2001 and brought up 200 appearances in the Red V in 2005, but the crowd favourite had a bitter split with the Dragons at the end of that campaign.

He was the last player from St George as a standalone club to turn out for the St George Illawarra joint venture, with only former Steelers Trent Barrett and Shaun Timmins outlasting his tenure at the club of the 1999 originals.

Thompson linked with Cronulla and played 38 games for the club, hanging up the boots early in the 2008 season due to ongoing knee problems.

Thompson played 13 matches against the Warriors during his career for an impressive 9-4 record, including a try in a 2002 victory.

LANCE THOMPSON – CAREER SUMMARY

St George (1995-98): 69 games – 4 tries, 9 goals (34 points)
St George Illawarra (1999-2005): 132 games – 20 tries, 8 goals (96 points)
Cronullla (2006-08): 38 games – 5 tries, 1 goal (22 points)
FIRST GRADE TOTAL: 239 games – 29 tries, 18 goals (152 points)

City Origin (2001-07): 5 matches – 0 points

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