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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Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
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Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10