Flanker Guy Thompson looks set to leave Leicester Tigers when his contract expires this summer.
The news will surprise many Tigers supporters, who have taken to Thompson since his move from Wasps ahead of last season.
“It was a quick, 10-minute conversation,” revealed Thompson to the Mail Online.
Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives. Simple message! Do it!! pic.twitter.com/vUHIovY5zx— Guy Thompson (@GuyThompson87) April 5, 2020
“Geordie is a really good man and it was as hard for him to dish out the news as it was for me to take it. I don’t have a bad word to say against him.
“When you’re in that room, you have to keep reminding yourself that it’s not personal. Let’s be honest, rugby’s a business. Loyalty is difficult in sport because we as players are commodities, stock, infantry… whatever you want to call it. But it still hurts.
“It’s hard to take when you’re basically being told that you’ve passed your sell-by-date. I left the room thinking, “S***, what am I going to do now?
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“I was planning to play on for another four years, which I will still do at whatever level I need to. People see that I’m 33 and think “You’re getting on a bit, mate”, but I didn’t make my Premiership debut til I was 25.
“I played 14 games in a row at the start of the season, my body feels great and I’ve still got a huge amount to give. I want to stay in England and ideally that will be in the Premiership.
“But I’ve played in the Championship before and I’m not too arrogant to go back there. I’ll be back and I’ll prove, to myself if nobody else, that I’ve still got a huge amount to give.”
Full list of 2020–21 Gallagher Premiership transfers
This is a list of player transfers involving Premiership Rugby teams before or during the 2020-21 season.
Players out: Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Sam Nixon (Bayonne), Rhys Davies (Ospreys), Francois Louw (Retiring)
Players in: Semi Radradra (Bordeaux), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Mitch Eadie (Northampton Saints), Max Malines (Saracens – loan), Ben Earl (Saracens – loan)
Players out: Jordan Crane (retiring), Aly Muldowney (retiring), Mat Protheroe (Ospreys), Nicky Thomas (Ospreys), Ian Madigan (Ulster)
Players out: Enrique Pieretto (Glasgow Warriors), Nic White (Brumbies), Sam Hill (Sale Sharks)
Players in: Louis Rees-Zammit (promoted from Academy), Jack Singleton (Saracens), Jordy Reid (Ealing Trailfinders)
Players out: Callum Braley (Benetton), Aaron Hinkley (Exeter Chiefs)