Joel Thompson signs for St George Illawarra

ON THE MOVE: Back-rower Joel Thompson will leave Canberra and join St George Illawarra on a three-year deal.
ON THE MOVE: Back-rower Joel Thompson will leave Canberra and join St George Illawarra on a three-year deal.

Canberra's impressive back-rower Joel Thompson will join St George Illawarra on a three-year deal, taking him through until the end of the 2016 NRL season, it was announced today.

The news is a coup for the Dragons following yesterday's announcement that five-eighth Jamie Soward will leave the club to take up a four-year offer from Penrith.

Thompson confirmed the deal, believed to be worth $1.3 million, through his Twitter account. The player, who has a young family with two daughters, is in his sixth season with the Raiders and has represented both Country Origin and the Indigenous All Stars.

The 24-year-old said it was a family-based decision which led him to sign with the Dragons - but denied the offer was superior to that put on the table by Canberra.

''I would like to announce that I'll be joining the Dragons on a three-year deal starting 2014,'' he said.

''I have based my decision on what I believe is best for my family, which we decided together.

''I want to make it clear that this wasn't about money, as most of the offers were the same.''

AAP