St Helens have announced that Great Britian international Luke Thompson will leave the club once his contract expires at the end of the 2020 Betfred Super League season.

The 24-year-old, who has been with the Saints since 2015, has opted to join NRL side Canterbury Bulldogs from next season.

Thompson is a product of the Saints Academy having been at the club since the age of 11.

He has made 158 appearances for the Saints scoring 25 tries and has won three League Leaders’ Shields in 2014, 2018 and 2019 as well as two Super League Grand Final rings in 2014 and more recently in 2019.

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Saints Chairman Eamonn McManus told the club website: “We were informed last week that Luke has decided to join Canterbury Bulldogs next season.

“We accept and totally respect Luke’s decision and wish him nothing but success in his career and in his life. We are absolutely sure that he will be absolutely committed to the Club and to his teammates for the rest of this season.

“There’s no hiding from the fact that this is a bitter disappointment to all of us as Luke has been connected to the Club since the age of 11 and has developed into an absolute top player at 24 years old.

“If ever he decides to return to England and to Super League then there would be a red carpet waiting for him at St.Helens.”