Corey Thompson won’t be hugging Benji Marshall anymore.
Corey Thompson won’t be hugging Benji Marshall anymore.

Snubbed star quits club immediately

Wests Tigers flyer Corey Thompson has been released from the remainder of his contract to join Gold Coast until the end of the 2022 NRL season.

Thompson is expected to play at fullback for the Titans, where star AJ Brimson is out for an extended period with a back issue.

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"He is obviously a very good fullback with terrific speed and consistency, and the past few weeks under the new ruck rules have shown us just how important those qualities are in the modern game," Titans coach Justin Holbrook said.

Thompson has fallen out favour with coach Michael Maguire. He started the first two matches of the season at fullback but hasn't been included in the final 17 since the campaign restarted last month as new recruit Adam Douehi was moved out of the centres and given the No. 1 jersey.

Thompson extended his Tigers contract in June last year, signing a deal to keep him at Concord until the end of 2021, but both parties have agreed to part ways.

"I wanted to say thank you to all the Wests Tigers Members and fans for all the support and faith you've shown in me," Thompson said in a statement.

"To the club, I wanted to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to come back from England and I've loved every second running out there and representing Wests Tigers. I wish the team nothing but success this year and thank you for everything."

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Thompson found himself on the outer at Concord.
Thompson found himself on the outer at Concord.

Thompson joined the Tigers in 2018 after he left Widnes in the UK League, playing 44 games for the joint-venture club and scoring 19 tries as he shifted between wing and fullback.

Smaller in stature than many of the giant wingers and big-bodied fullbacks running around these days, the 30-year-old punched above his weight and was a tough, solid addition to the Tigers' backline.

Reports emerged earlier this season Thompson was on the outer with Maguire, who took over last season, with the Titans mentioned as his most likely destination.

Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said: "On behalf of all at Wests Tigers, I'd like to thank Corey for his professionalism and commitment to the club over the past two-and-a-half years.

"Corey has always carried himself tremendously well on and off the field and has been a great example of the core values that this club is known by.

"The chance for him to head home to Queensland for the first time in his career on a long-term deal is a valuable opportunity for him and his family. I'd like to thank him for his service to Wests Tigers and we wish both he and his partner Sarah all the best in the future."

Thompson's exit comes after Maguire dumped Benji Marshall from the team following a dismal defeat to Gold Coast two weekends ago, the coach vowing to make changes to shake the inconsistency out of the under-performing Tigers, who lost 14-6 to Canberra on Saturday night.

"That performance is unacceptable for where we're at," Maguire said after the loss to the Titans.

"You can play for 15 minutes and have control, but until you learn to play for 80 minutes, that's what this competition does.

"I'm sick and tired of the ups and downs of performance. It's as simple as that.

"We need to change that. That's what this club has been."



Originally published as Snubbed star quits club immediately