Tiger Thompson credits faithful family
Budding Wests Tigers utility Bodene Thompson has given his family a glowing appraisal following his solid start to the season.
After joining the Tigers last season, Thompson struggled to maintain his spot in the side with coach Mick Potter shifting him to wherever he needed the developing 25-year-old.
This season however has seen the much-improved Thompson start every game for the Tigers in his preferred second row position and he cites the continued support of his family as the source of his success.
Despite the majority of his 12 siblings (yes, you read that correctly) and adoring parents living in Thompson's native New Zealand, he clearly appreciates their love and guidance and that of his huge extended family.
"Dad especially has always been a big supporter of me. He can't get over to Australia much and some of what I do is for him," Thompson told NRL.com following the Tigers 22-20 win over the Sharks.
"He loves getting to the games when we're over in Auckland and wherever else we play so it's always good to play in front of him.
"Dad texts me now and again from New Zealand to say that he's been watching all of my games and it's great to hear from him."
With two tries and an average of 28.8 tackles and 82.5 metres per game this year, Thompson is quite content with how he has progressed but isn't ready to rest on his laurels just yet.
"I've worked hard on it to play the 80 minutes and you know, just trying to be consistent. Not missing tackles and doing my job for the team. I'm happy but I can always get better," Thompson said.
"I'm just happy for the opportunity to be able to be starting the game but in saying that I can get better and just prove my worth each week.
"I just want to be consistent and just carry on doing my job and doing the best I can for the club and also for myself and improving on the little things."
With Mick Potter now trusting the former Titan to do a job in his forward pack, the coach's wise words stick solid with Thompson as he continues to build to where he and his coach want to be.
"[Potter] just wants me to get to my spots and just make sure I'm doing my job and hitting my holes and being where I need to be at all the right times. Pretty much just making sure I'm doing my role for the team," Thompson said.
"I'm still looking to break more tackles on the edge and then hitting around the ball in defence and trying to get some balls loose, and just cleaning up the scraps when someone misses a tackle for example and just covering and making sure I'm working hard off the ball."
With State of Origin approaching the Wests Tigers have an intriguing clash with the Brisbane Broncos next weekend without any representative players involved.
With the Broncos inevitably missing a host of players and the Tigers missing at the very least captain Robbie Farah it poses an exciting opportunity for Thompson to further impress for the Tigers.