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Leo Thompson selected for NZ Māori All Stars

nib Newcastle Knights forward Leo Thompson has been called into the Māori team for the Harvey Norman All Stars match to be played at Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday February 11.

The selection continues Thompson’s meteoric rise in rugby league, following a debut NRL season that saw him feature in 16 matches for the Knights in 2022.  

Joining Newcastle as a largely untested rugby union convert with just a handful of rugby league games to his name, Thompson debuted in the Knights Round 1 victory over the Sydney Roosters, kicking off a stellar season that saw him re-signed until 2025 and culminated in his being named Knights Rookie of the Year.

His All Stars selection is just the latest in a string of accolades for the 22-year-old prop/back-rower, who grew up in the New Zealand north island city of Gisborne, just a few hundred kilometres from where the All Stars match will take place.

Knights Director of Football Peter Parr says Thompson’s All Stars call up is recognition of both his potential as a player and his efforts since joining the Club.  

“Leo is quickly developing into a quality NRL Player,” Parr said.

“The week in the Māori camp, rolling into the game will be very beneficial for Leo’s ongoing development as a player and a fitting reward for his hard work.”

Thompson will head into camp with the Māori squad this weekend, before taking on the Indigenous All Stars, coached by Knights NRLW premiership-winning coach Ronald Griffiths, next Saturday.

The Newcastle Knights will also be strongly represented with a total of seven players featuring in the Harvey Norman Women’s All Stars match earlier in the day.