Former NRL star makes sudden retirement call

One of the most respected players of rugby league's modern era, former Country Origin forward Joel Thompson, is set to retire despite having a year left on his contract.

A talented back-rower who played over 200 games for the Raiders, Dragons and Manly, Thompson moved to England this season on a two-year deal with St Helens.

But the 32-year-old has told the Saints that his body is starting to let him down and he has personal matters back home to attend to at the end of this season.

Joel Thompson will be calling time on his career.

Born in the bush in Ivanhoe, Thompson became an Australian Schoolboys representative in 2006 before joining the Raiders, making his top grade debut to years later.

From tough and humble beginnings, he became a popular figure at all three NRL clubs for which he played and did a lot of charity work behind the scenes.

A proud Aboriginal man, he played for the Indigenous All Stars seven times and was unlucky not to play State of Origin football for NSW.

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