Ironman Thorn signs on for more
Ironman Thorn signs on for moreSHARE
Legendary All Black lock Brad Thorn has signed with the Highlanders for another season along with a few of his teammates.
On the back of the key signing of Ben Smith, the Highlanders have secured Thorn, Hayden Parker and loose forward TJ Ioane for the 2014 Super Rugby season, along with the signing of new Highlanders’ Maori All Black Shane Christie.
Outside centre Tamati Ellison has also confirmed he will remain with the Highlanders – pending a dispensation from New Zealand Rugby – as one of the team’s overseas players.
The Highlanders have now locked in a good core of their 37-man squad for 2014 with the remaining positions to be filled in the next three months.
The re-signing of World Cup Champion lock Thorn is a significant boost for the team as he naturally fills a leadership and mentoring role for young players in the region and will help get the Highlanders’ performance back on track.
Thorne, his wife Mary-Anne and their family, have enjoyed their time in Dunedin and are looking forward to a break in the Deep South leading into the 2014 season.
With flyhalf Colin Slade still considering his options after the 2013 season, the re-signing of 22-year-old Parker ensures the Highlanders are well served in the No.10 jersey with Lima Sopoaga already secure with the team for another year.
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph said he was pleased to have the majority of 2014 players locked in, particularly as players demonstrated a strong commitment to the Highlanders.
“It’s great to have Brad on board for 2014 as he brings a great deal of professionalism to any team he plays for. His work ethic, experience and leadership are invaluable for our team and he has been one of the most consistent players this season.
“Hayden in his first year of super rugby has also shown he has the right temperament and skillset to play a lot of games at this level. He has done well and we will benefit from having him in our environment next year.”
“TJ has been a revelation this year after filling the huge void created in our team with the loss, through injury, of Nasi Manu. TJ has come on leaps and bounds and will make a significant contribution in 2014”
“I look forward to welcoming Shane Christie who I coached in last year’s Maori All Blacks UK tour – he was one of the standout players," he added.