Brad Thorn vows to make a mark at Leicester

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 14:27 05/09/2014
Brad Thorn
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
ON THE MEND: Brad Thorn in action for the Highlanders last season. The veteran lock is recovering from a torn right bicep.

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Veteran New Zealand lock Brad Thorn has arrived in England, declaring he won't be "some old guy hanging around", nor a "burden or an embarrassment" to new rugby club Leicester.

Thorn will turn 40 as his debut season in the English Premiership rolls on but believes he still has what it takes to contribute.

He won't be in action when the season kicks off this weekend as a torn right bicep continues to mend, meaning his debut for the Tigers is likely to be closer to the end of the month.

When he gets on the pitch he is determined to make an impact.

"I am really keen to contribute and am here to serve in the best way I can," Thorn told the Leicester Mercury newspaper as he settled into his new base.

"I don't want to be a burden or an embarrassment. I am too proud for that. Trust me, I will be giving it all I have got. It's really important for me to contribute. I am not some old guy hanging around off the field. I am here to perform and compete.

"When I leave the club, I want to have given more than has been asked. That is always how I have rolled."

Thorn said he turned down a coaching opportunity with the Highlanders to have one more year playing and wants to make the most of it.

"Nobody believes me when I say 'one more year' now. They think I am lying. I even feel my fingers crossing when I say it," Thorn said.

"I had been offered a forwards coach role with the Highlanders. That was nice but I wanted one final year. There were other options but, when this came off, it was too good to pass up."

Having a crack at the English Premiership was an opportunity he couldn't resist after already winning the nation provincial title, the Super Rugby title and World Cup during two successful stints in New Zealand rugby as well as winning the Heineken Cup in his brief spell at Irish club Leinster.

He also won everything on offer with the Broncos, Queensland and Australia during his time in rugby league.

"Trying to win the Aviva Premiership was something that appealed to me," Thorn said.

"I like challenges and going out to win things, and this is one of the biggest clubs in Europe which has a great record and had been to nine consecutive finals.

"I had three months at Leinster in 2012 and I was sad to leave, so I am looking forward to having nine months here."

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