Thompson to leave Chiefs and play in England

Super Rugby champion Chiefs’ lock Kane Thompson has agreed to leave New Zealand Rugby and play for English Premiership club Newcastle Falcons.

The thirty-two-year-old second rower Thompson can also play at No.8 and has played 28 tests for Samoa since 2007.

Thompson started his Super Rugby career with the Highlanders in 2006 and joined the Chiefs in 2014 after a short stint in Japan with the Canon Eagles.

The lock also played three seasons in France for US Dax while in New Zealand he has played NPC for Southland and Hawke’s Bay.

An imposing physical presence, standing 6ft 6in tall and weighing in at 17st 9lbs and his career to date shows a player who quickly becomes an integral part of his club squads.

Thompson has also distinguished himself on the international stage after opting to represent Samoa ahead of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Qualifying for the Pacific Island nation through his Grandmother’s heritage, he has featured in two of the IRB’s showpiece tournaments and also made a try scoring contribution to his country’s landmark win against Australia in 2011.

Speaking about his latest capture, Newcastle Director of Rugby Dean Richards said, “Kane is a proven operator at the highest levels of rugby in the Southern Hemisphere and has down very well internationally for Samoa.

“We have really liked what we have seen of him and expect that the supporters will too and fully anticipate he will repeat what he has done all the way throughout his career and establish himself as a key member of the squad.”

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