Luke Thompson (rugby union)

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Luke Thompson
Date of birth (1981-04-16) 16 April 1981 (age 33)
Place of birth Christchurch
Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 108 kg (17 st 0 lb)
Notable relative(s) Anna Thompson (sister)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Lock, Flanker
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Belfast
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)

2004–06
2006–
Canterbury
Panasonic Wild Knights
Kintetsu Liners
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2007– Japan 48 (35)
correct as of 22 June 2014.

Luke Thompson (ルーク・トンプソン Rūku Tonpuson?) (born Christchurch, 16 April 1981) is a New Zealand-born Japanese rugby union player. He plays as a lock and occasional flanker.

Thompson started his career with Canterbury but after his route to the team being blocked by the return of Brad Thorn and the presence of Chris Jack he signed for the Sanyo Wild Knights in 2004.[1] He has since moved to play for the Kintetsu Liners where he still plays today.

In 2007 he qualified through residency to play for Japan and made his debut in April against Hong Kong.[2] He then became a regular member of the side for all of John Kirwan's reign as Japan coach between 2007 and 2011 representing them at two World Cups. In the 2007 tournament he notably scored 2 tries as Japan pushed Fiji close.[3]

After the 2011 Rugby World Cup, he was left out of the Japan squad for the 2012 Asian 5 Nations by new Japan coach Eddie Jones who had decided to have less foreigners in the team than his predecessor Kirwan.

He was recalled briefly in November 2012 where he was called up to the squad as an injury replacement for Toshizumi Kitagawa and started in Japan's first away wins in Europe against Romania and Georgia.[4] In 2013 he was retained in Japan's wider 41 man training squad for the Asian 5 Nations and Pacific Nations Cup, but was cut from the squad when it was trimmed.

Thompson obtained Japanese citizenship in July 2011 after 7 years in Japan, and is well settled. His sister Anna Thompson is a member of the New Zealand national netball team the Silver Ferns.[1][5]

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