Guy Thompson: Flanker set to depart Leicester Tigers

Guy Thompson scores at Newcastle
Guy Thompson's tries at Newcastle last season helped keep Leicester in the Premiership last season and send Falcons down

Leicester Tigers forward Guy Thompson is set to leave the club this summer when his contract expires.

The 33-year-old flanker has scored seven tries in 33 appearances since moving to Welford Road from Wasps in the summer of 2018.

“To have the opportunity to have worn a Leicester shirt was something special in itself,” Thompson told BBC Radio Leicester.

“But I’m not done with the game, I know that I still want to play.”

He added: “There’s a few opportunities that have presented themselves, and that’s what I’ve got to look forward to.”

Thompson was voted Tigers’ newcomer of the season for 2018-19 after scoring five tries in 20 outings - including two in the crucial win at Newcastle last April which helped the club survive relegation from the Premiership.

“It’s something I look back very fondly on,” he said. “To go down in the history of the club in a game like that is something very special.

“When I talk to fans they often bring it up and say thank you, but it was a big team effort, that game.

“The supporters have been fantastic and I have loved the two years I have had at the club.”

However, Thompson has not featured since the win over Bristol on 4 January because of a neck injury.

The Premiership season has been suspended until at least 24 April because of the coronavirus pandemic, with nine rounds and play-offs still to happen.

“Everybody understands it’s a really strange time, so as players we are taking a back seat, making sure we are training from home,” Thompson said.

“I’ve tried to keep routine, I walk the dog and have breakfast, and train with what I’ve been given.”

'Thompson wrote himself into Tigers folklore' - analysis

BBC Radio Leicester’s Tigers presenter Adam Whitty

For a man who has spent just two seasons at Leicester Tigers, the outpouring of what has seemed like grief online from fans may come as a surprise.

But in snatching the ball from a Newcastle maul, in the shadow of the Tigers posts, in the final minute against Falcons last season, Guy Thompson wrote himself into Welford Road folklore.

It saved them from what seemed an unfathomable relegation; but almost a year later from that night, fans’ favourite Thompson has learned the hard way that rugby is now a business.

But head coach Geordan Murphy added strength in depth to his back row, with a much-younger Cyle Brink joining last month. At 33, Tigers obviously felt Thompson did not have a long-term future at Welford Road.

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