Everyone loves commitment, and none toiled harder than Taranaki flanker Brent Thompson over his 28 appearances with the Hurricanes. Thompson’s tenure was spread over several seasons, coming into the side for one appearance in 2000 as a replacement and winning his first starting place in 2001 against the Bulls.
He played a vital back-up role in the Hurricanes loose forward contingent in 2002 and 2003 and then had a season at the Blues in 2004 before moving to Japan at the end of 2004 to take up a contract with the Suntory club, returning there in May 2007 for a third season.
Thompson first played first class rugby for Manawatu in 1999 as a New Zealand Colt, starring in the second division in their first year back in the NPC following the ill-fated Central Vikings alliance.
A switch to first division Taranaki the following year brought higher rewards for Thompson as part of an accomplished past and present Hurricanes loose forward battery of Campbell Feather, Daryl Fale and Neil Crowley. The ‘Naki’ made the NPC semi-finals in 2000, and Thompson remained loyal to them until his shift to Japan, having a standout final season at No. 8 in his final NPC season.
Thompson took 2008 off after sustaining a neck injury, but has since been re-signed by Manawatu for the 2009 Air New Zealand Cup season.
He was in eye-catching form for the Manawatu Turbos in the 2009 Air New Zealand Cup, but was forced to retire from all rugby early in 2010 due to a neck injury.