The St George Illawarra Dragons are deeply saddened by the passing of former Dragon Lance Thompson.
The 239-game veteran of both the St George Dragons and St George Illawarra was found deceased on Friday morning. He was 40.
The two-time Australian Schoolboys representative made his NRL debut at just 17 while still attending Kingsgrove High School and went on to become a crowd favourite across his 14-season first grade career – the latter three of which were spent at the Sharks.
The Hurstville United junior played in two grand finals; the Dragons' 1996 loss to the Sea Eagles and St George Illawarra's last gasp defeat to the Melbourne Storm in 1999.
Thompson represented the City Origin team five times between 2001 and 2007.
"Lance was a colourful, earnest rugby league character and a loyal friend of many at the Dragons," Dragons Chief Executive Officer Peter Doust said.
"We are all are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of his passing and our thoughts are with his family."
The Dragons will wear black armbands on Sunday and pay tribute to Thompson at the home game this Sunday at Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah against the Bulldogs.