Steve Thompson joins London Wasps from Leeds

Steve Thompson (right) is tackled by Wasps fly-half Dave Walder on 17 April
Thompson (right) has signed a three-year deal with Wasps

Wasps have signed England hooker Steve Thompson from Leeds.

The 32-year-old, who has 66 England caps, has signed a three-year deal and joins Wasps at the end of the season.

The 2003 World Cup-winner retired in 2007 because of a serious neck injury but has battled back to reclaim a place in the England squad.

"I'm excited about the chance to play with Wasps for the next few seasons - I've been really impressed with some of their young players," said Thompson.

"I'm looking forward to being part of a team that is aiming to get back to the top of their game."

Former Northampton hooker Thompson had to pay back a £500,000 insurance pay-out before resuming his playing career with French side Brive in late 2007.

He moved back to England with Premiership strugglers Leeds at the start of the 2010-11 season and said he would remember his time at the club with affection.

"As much as it has been a difficult season for Leeds on the pitch, I have really enjoyed my time there and met some great people," said Thompson.

"I am very grateful that they gave me the opportunity to return to the English game."

Wasps chief executive Chris Thomas said Thompson was "exactly the type of front-row forward we have been looking for in our recruitment drive for next season".

Thomas added: "He will bring with him excellent experience at international and Premiership level and we believe that Steve will also play a big role in developing some of our future talent."

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