Winger Corey Thompson to leave Widnes Vikings at end of season
Last Updated: 04/05/17 4:18pm
Widnes winger Corey Thompson will return to Australia at the end of the season after activating the NRL opt-out clause in his contract.
Thompson joined the Vikings from Canterbury Bulldogs in 2016 and scored 27 Super League tries in his debut season to help the club qualify for the Super 8s.
The 26-year-old has decided to move back to Australia to be closer to family and friends.
Widnes coach Denis Betts admitted Thompson's decision came as a surprise.
Betts said: "Firstly, I would like to wish Corey and his family the best of luck for the future and thank him for his service to the Vikings.
"This is a decision that the club was not expecting. However, this now frees up a quota space for us to utilise and strengthen the squad in 2018.
"I have no doubt that Corey will continue to work hard for this Club for the rest of this season."
Thompson added: "The Vikings supporters have been brilliant with me during my stay and I cannot thank them enough for their support and backing of me and the team since I have arrived.
"To score 27 tries in my debut season here was absolutely fantastic. It is an achievement that I am proud of, and to do it in a Vikings team that recorded the club's best-ever position in the Super League made it even better.
"I will continue to give my all for the club for the remainder of 2017 as we try to improve upon our position in Super League, as well as the Challenge Cup, before heading back to Australia for the next stage in my career."