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The Roar


Family ties could prompt All Blacks rising star into NRL switch with club keen to exploit salary cap exemption

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18th November, 2023
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Newcastle are trying to lure young All Blacks prospect Tyrone Thompson to the NRL to join his twin brother Leo after the Chiefs hooker was overlooked for World Cup selection.

The 23-year-old played recently for the Barbarians after touring with the All Blacks XV earlier this year and is contracted until the end of next year but could be on the move to the Knights in 2025.

According to a NewsCorp report, he is keen to emulate his brother’s success in the NRL.

They both played rugby at a representative level as teenagers before Leo tried his hand at league.

The front-rower was one of the NRL’s most improved players last season and was rewarded with selection in the New Zealand team at the Pacific Championships end-of-year tournament.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 14: Tyrone Thompson of Hawke's Bay is tackled during the Bunnings Warehouse NPC Semi Final match between Wellington and Hawke's Bay at Sky Stadium, on October 14, 2023, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Masanori Udagawa/Getty Images)

Tyrone Thompson. (Photo by Masanori Udagawa/Getty Images)

He played all three matches for the Kiwis, including the 30-0 triumph over Australia in the final.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo recently raised the prospect of clubs receiving exemptions for poaching rugby recruits and Tyrone Thompson could become one of the first players signed under this rule if it gets the green light from the ARL Commission.


The Roosters have been linked to a raid on Wallabies outside backs Mark Nawaqanitawase and Max Jorgensen to make up for Joseph Suaalii heading to rugby at the end of next season.

Newcastle are considering offloading a prop, potentially Jacob Saifiti to Canterbury, to land Test winger Josh Addo-Carr, who is on the outer at the Bulldogs, as they look to build on last season’s rise into the semi-finals on the back of Kalyn Ponga’s Dally M Medal-winning campaign.

They have added Super League duo Kai Pearce-Paul and Will Pryce to give them more attacking potency while young centre Tom Jenkins and playmaker Jack Cogger have arrived from Penrith and Rabbitohs second-rower Jed Cartwright has also been signed for 2024 to bolster their pack.