Brad Thorn: Rugby World Cup triumph a duty rather than a joy

Brad Thorn celebrates winning the Rugby World Cup at Eden Park in 2011.

Brad Thorn celebrates winning the Rugby World Cup at Eden Park in 2011.

Evergreen rugby star Brad Thorn has described the 2011 World Cup triumph as a duty rather than a joy and hinted that it's finally time to hang up his boots and return "home" to Brisbane.

The 40-year-old former All Blacks lock is currently playing in the English Premiership with Leicester and took time out this week to front a Land Rover sponsorship launch for the World Cup along with other stars.

While the 2015 tournament in England in September and October was the hot topic, it didn't take long for Thorn's 2011 triumph to be aired.

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Surprisingly, in a rugby and league career where Thorn has won just about everything, it seems the World Cup doesn't top the list.

Thorn described the subsequent Heineken Cup triumph with Irish club Leinster as "just gold".

"The World Cup wasn't really like that for me, it was a duty to my country," he said in a report by

"There was too much on the line. There's too much at stake.

"I was a senior member of that team and it was a job I just had to get done and then move on with my life. Even to my team-mates, I knew I couldn't show any weakness.

"I didn't sleep very well, I was pretty much run down by the time we reached the final. The pool stage was fine but when we reached the quarterfinals I shut myself down, it was business time.

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"I was in tears after the whistle in the final and that was because I had put so much pressure on myself."

Thorn said while mentally and physically he felt good and his current form "matches anything I've done in the last five years", he believed it was time to hang his boots up.

Thorn said it was time to devote more time to his young family.

Born in Mosgiel but raised in Brisbane, he said Queensland will be his ultimate destination.

"My home is Brisbane. In rugby, people know me as an All Black but I left New Zealand when I was nine. All my high school life was in Australia. I have four young children.

"We've been away for about eight or nine years now. I could easily stay here, I could be in Europe if it was just me and my wife but it's getting time to take the family back, get a pet dog, a Labrador. We've lived in Japan, we've lived in Ireland, Christchurch, Dunedin - it's time for a family home and to set that up."

Reports last month suggested he could link up with the struggling Queensland Reds in a coaching role.

He said he was still weighing up whether his personality suited the cut-throat coaching business.

 - Stuff


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