Warriors sign Thompson, release Bukuya


Wests Tigers back-rower Bodene Thompson has signed a three-year NRL deal with the Warriors.

Tauranga-born Thompson, 26, made his NRL debut in 2009 with Gold Coast Titans and has spent the past two seasons with Wests Tigers.

He has made 85 first-grade appearances and was a late call-up to the New Zealand's Four Nations squad as a replacement, but has yet to earn his first cap.

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden described Thompson as a player with a great attitude and work ethic.

"He's an 80-minute back-rower who's really going to add plenty to our squad and he'll also ensure there's huge competition for spots," McFadden said.

The Warriors have granted a release to back-rower Jayson Bukuya who will return to Sydney on compassionate grounds.

Bukuya leaves after one season and 18 matches for the Warriors, with McFadden saying it had been a challenging year for the former Cronulla Shark.

"All we want is the best for him and for his family," he said.

"While his form suffered during the season, we appreciate the effort he put in."

The Warriors' pre-season training begins on Monday, although most of the players on representative duty won't start until the New Year.