Luke Thompson hailed as one of world's best props by Great Britain team-mates Lachlan Coote and Oliver Gildart

Luke Thompson in training with the GB Lions ahead of Saturday's Test against Tonga. Picture: SWPix
Luke Thompson in training with the GB Lions ahead of Saturday's Test against Tonga. Picture: SWPix

Luke Thompson will be putting himself in the shop window during Great Britain's four-match tour of the southern hemisphere.


A cluster of NRL clubs will be looking on with more than a passing interest in the performance of the 24-year-old St Helens star who many describe as 'the best prop forward in world rugby league'.

His contract is up for renewal at the end of next season but at this moment in time chief executive Mike Rush has made it crystal clear he is going nowhere - and who can blame him?.

But whatever happens in 12 months' time is a another matter and any decision, whether to try his luck Down Under or remaining loyal to his home town club, is in his own hands at the end of the day.

Fellow GB tourist and team-mate Lachlan Coote said:. ''He has got it all and it will be interesting to see how he deals with his battles against some of the best players in the world.

“He has got the footwork, the speed, the strength and he’s the stamina to play 80 minutes. That’s not something you see much in the front-row. He’s definitely up there as one of the best I’ve seen in the middle.

“It will be awesome putting that GB jersey on with him. It’s been a pleasure to play with him all year and I’m looking forward to watching him play some of the best in the world.”

Wigan centre Oliver Gildart also believes Great Britain can lay claim to having the best prop in the world ahead of the start of their four-Test tour.

Thompson finished a stellar Super League campaign by landing the man of the match in the Grand Final win over Salford

And Gildart believes his former St Edmund Arrowsmith school-mate can cement his stature as the game’s premier front-rower in the Tests with Tonga, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Gildart is a big fan of Australia’s Josh Papalii while Payne Haas was awarded the Dally M prop of the year in 2019.

“It’s hard to say Luke’s not the best,” said the 23-year-old.

“I’ve watched Josh Papalii all year because he plays with Sutty and Batty at Canberra, and he’s up there. But I can’t look past Thommo.

"He did it all season in Super League and in the Grand Final he was sensational, to play at the level he did for 73 minutes."

Gildart played in the same school team as Thompson and added: “I’m made up for him that he's done so well, because I’ve obviously known him for a long time and it’s been good to see his career pan out the way it has."