Leeds snap up Thompson
World Cup winner set for Headingley
Last Updated: 31/05/10 9:30am
Thompson: Joining Leeds
Leeds Carnegie have confirmed World Cup-winning hooker Steve Thompson has agreed a two-year deal at Headingley.
The 31-year-old England international will arrive at the club after spending three years in France with Brive.
And Thompson, who will compete with Andy Titterrell and Phil Nilsen for the No.2 jersey, is relishing the chance of a fresh challenge.
"I am really pleased to be joining Leeds Carnegie at an exciting time for the club," he said.
"I spoke with Andy Key and Neil Back and have nothing but admiration for what they have done at the club already and what they plan to do in the future. It was a big decision for me to come back to the Guinness Premiership but it is a challenge I am looking forward to.
"In all honesty, I have got more nerves about coming back to the Guinness Premiership than I did about coming to France and I think that is a good thing. I am looking for a fresh challenge in my career and Leeds Carnegie is exactly right for me.
"I am fortunate that Hendre Fourie is part of the England squad. I have been picking his brains about how the club operates and talking about the guys. I have been watching some videos and I just want to make sure I am up to speed when I report for pre-season training."
Thompson played alongside Back during England victorious 2003 World Cup success in Australia - and the Leeds coach is thrilled to have added the former Northampton star to his squad.
Back said: "As a club, we are delighted to have signed a player of the calibre of Steve Thompson. He is a world class player who is still performing at the top of his game and he sees the move to Leeds Carnegie as a chance to improve even further.
"Importantly, Steve also has all the right characteristics to be part of our squad. We are building a strong pack here at Leeds Carnegie and Steve will be a great addition to that.
"We already have Andy Titterrell and Phil Nilsen at the club and the competition for the hooking spot highlights the strength in depth we are now building within the squad."
Leeds have also bolstered their backline with the signing of highly-rated winger James Tincknell from Wharfedale.
The 21-year-old, who is a member of the England Counties squad, scored 15 tries in 19 starts for Wharfedale this season.