Thompson to have time off

Lance Thompson's new NRL club Cronulla will give the former St George Illawarra forward time off to clear his head and re-focus before beginning pre-season training.

Thompson will head to Perth to support his friend and former team-mate Anthony Mundine, who prepares to take on New Zealand boxer Rico Chong Nee on December 11. The veteran second-rower has signed a one-year deal with the Sharks today.

He says he's always respected the club, which has a fierce rivalry with the Dragons.