Full name Stephen Geoffrey Thompson
Born July 15, 1978, Hemel Hempstead
Current age 36 years 45 days
Major teams British and Irish Lions, Brive, Leeds Carnegie, London Wasps, Northampton Saints, England
Height 6 ft 2 in
Weight 253 lb
|British and Irish Lions||2005-2005||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||1||16.66|
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2003-2011||11||9||2||5||1||0||0||0||10||1||0||90.90|
|Test debut||Scotland v England at Murrayfield, Feb 2, 2002 match details|
|Last Test||England v France at Auckland, Oct 8, 2011 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Rugby World Cup winner Thompson is a strong-running and resilient hooker who has battled back from an apparent career-ending injury to return to the sport's biggest stage.
At over 6ft tall he is larger than the average hooker and his 18 stone frame and notable handling skills make him a formidable presence in the pack and in the loose.
He made his England debut against Scotland in 2002 and would go on to cement his place in Clive Woodward's squad in the build-up to the 2003 Rugby World Cup - featuring in the victories over New Zealand and Australia before playing in all but one of England's matches in the sport's showpiece event.
He was later rewarded with selection for the 2005 British & Irish Lions' tour to New Zealand earning caps in the warm-up clash against Argentina and the clashes with the All Blacks in Christchurch and Wellington.
A neck injury suffered on Heineken Cup duty for Northampton in April 2007 forced his immediate retirement from the game and he opted for a coaching role with Top 14 side Brive at the start of the 2007-08 season. However, in a dramatic twist Thompson announced his playing return with the French club in October 2007 after consulting medical staff.
His decision meant he had to re-pay a substantial insurance claim but he was rewarded with a return to the international ranks at the end of the 2008-09 season when he was selected by England manager Martin Johnson. He appeared off the bench in the victory over Argentina at Old Trafford and reclaimed the No.2 shirt for the clash with Australia at Twickenham later the same year.
In May 2010, he announced he would play for Leeds Carnegie in the 2010-11 season but the hooker was powerless to prevent their relegation from the top-flight. Thompson failed to start in any of the 2011 Six Nations, with Dylan Hartley taking the starting berth, but he did appear in all five matches from the bench, scoring a try against Ireland in the process. In May 2011, Thompson announced he would join Wasps on a three-year deal and one month later he was named in Martin Johnson's 45-man training squad.
Thompson made it to the World Cup where he performed well - where he started four times - in what was a disappointing campaign for the red rose side. But he joined Wasps full of optimism as they looked forward to a new era under Dai Young.
His optimism was short lived, however, as on December 3, 2011, he announced his retirement from the game for a second time after suffering a neck injury.