Sad Passing of Lance Thompson

Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League extends its sincere sympathy to the family of Lance Thompson, who has sadly passed away. Famous for his rugby league career with St George Dragons and Cronulla Sharks, he first came to notice as an outstanding schoolboy player.

 

Lance first played in an Australian Schoolboy Championships in 1993 in Adelaide as a tough and hard running backrower for NSWCHS, and his performance ensured his selection in the 15 Years Merit Team.

The following year Lance was selected in the NSWCHS Opens team for the Australian Championships played in Rockhampton. This was when the age limit was 19 years, so Lance was giving away three years to some opponents. Despite this, his uncompromising play, phenomenal work rate and imposing determination saw Lance selected in the Australian Schoolboys team to play New Zealand in Parkes and Redcliffe. Unfortunately, injury forced Lance’s withdrawal from the team, which included players like Brett Kimmorley, Luke Priddis, Ben Ikin and Owen Craigie, who were later so successful at first grade level and higher.

Lance was back again in 1995 for the Championships at Seiffert Oval, Queanbeyan, run by ACT Schools Rugby League. Though still only 17, Lance was co captain of the NSWCHS team with Matt Gidley, both of whom were on big retainers with the ARL to ensure that they didn’t defect to Super League. The team also included Kevin McGuinness, John Skandallis, Brett Hodgson and Duncan MacGilvray, but Lance was the beating heart of the team. His workrate was unbelievable, and he kept tackling and taking hit ups while others were tiring around him. His trusty left foot step was put to good use throughout the Championships. NSWCHS defeated ACT 17-8 in the Final, and Lance was once again, for the third year in a row, named as an Australian Schoolboy. However, also once again, Lance was forced by injury to withdraw from the team which went on to tour France and England.

As a schoolboy player Lance was always popular with teammates, while opponents were always wary when coming up against Lance. Officials knew he was a good kid and he went on to become a good bloke. Lance was also a real character and threw himself into every activity with energy and enthusiasm. Lance played in the Kingsgrove High School team which won a University Shield, and was also a champion schoolboy swimmer.

Lance was truly a memorable character who will be sorely missed.




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