Big bad Brad heading back to NZ

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 08:33
Large brad thorn haka 630 Large brad thorn crusaders 630 Large brad thorn with webb ellis

Celebrated All Black and Kangaroo star Brad Thorn could be playing in New Zealand as early as next year.

Celebrated All Black and Kangaroo star Brad Thorn could be playing in New Zealand as early as next year.

According to a report in the Otago Daily Times Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph is believed to have met with Thorn in Japan last month.

It is believed they have come to an agreement about Thorn playing in the south next year.

Thorn left for Japan on a two-year deal with club side Fukuoko Sanix Blues, shortly after helping the All Blacks win the 2011 World Cup.

He then played a short stint in Ireland midway through his contract, helping Leinster win the Heineken Cup.

Thorn, who will be 38 in February, would give the Highlanders forwards bucketloads of experience.

He has been playing at the top level for 18 years, in both Rugby Union and Rugby League, and has won almost everything in both forms of the game.

With the addition of Thorn, All Black prop Tony Woodcock (who will be 32), and experienced All Black hooker Andrew Hore (who turns 35 next year), the Highlanders forward pack would have a look of steel about it.

The young 'pup' of the Highlanders front will be one-time All Black Jamie Mackintosh, who turns 28.

Thorn last played in this country for the All Blacks at the year's World Cup last year, and was a key man for the home side as it won the tournament.

He then left for Japan, on a two-year deal to play for the Fukuoka Sanix Blues.

That contract would finish about late February next year, just in time to play for the Highlanders in 2013.

Thorn may be in the veteran stage and old enough to play golden oldies rugby, but he is a consummate professional and his training habits and discipline would be a great asset for the Highlanders.

Thorn was born in Mosgiel - an urban satellite of Dunedin - in 1975 and still has family in the area.

When he was aged eight, the family relocated to Brisbane where he started playing Rugby League.

He made his debut for the Brisbane Broncos in the National Rugby League competition in 1994 and went on to play 200 games for the Broncos as well as playing for Queensland and Australia.

In 2001 he made his first switch to Rugby Union, linking with Canterbury and the Crusaders.

He made his All Black debut in 2003, after turning down a chance to wear the black jersey in 2001, as he felt he was not ready for it.

At the end of the 2004 season, Thorn switched back to Rugby League and went back to the Broncos.

At the start of 2008 he was signed by the Crusaders, initially on a one-season deal, but such was his form he was picked in the All Blacks and was an ever-present player in the side through to the World Cup.

Earlier this year, Thorn signed a three-month contract with Irish club Leinster and won the Heineken Cup.

And while Thorn may be coming to a New Zealand side from Japan, it is believed Ma'a Nonu is going the other way.

Nonu has yet to confirm what side he will play for next year but there is a strong chance he may now head offshore.

The Highlanders were keen to land Nonu but that appears unlikely now.

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Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Lions v Bulls 51 | 14
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 18 | 16
Sunwolves v Sharks 17 | 38
Force v Highlanders 6 | 55
Hurricanes v Cheetahs 61 | 7
Fri, 19 May 2017
Leinster v Scarlets 15 | 27
Stormers v Blues 30 | 22
Chiefs v Crusaders 24 | 31
Sat, 13 May 2017
Jaguares v Force 6 | 16
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19