Brad Thorn signs at English rugby club Leicester

Last updated 07:20 20/08/2014
Brad Thorn
ROBYN EDIE/ Fairfax NZ
NEW CHALLENGE: Veteran NZ lock Brad Thorn has played his first game for new English club Leicester, who have been struck with a number of injuries and have lost three straight games.

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The never-ending playing career of All Blacks World Cup winner Brad Thorn has taken a new twist with a stint confirmed at English club Leicester.

It will be veteran Thorn's first stint in the English premiership though he has previous experience in Europe, winning the Heineken Cup with Irish club Leinster two years ago.

The 39-year-old lock recently confirmed he wouldn't be playing next year's Super Rugby campaign with the Highlanders. He was set to join Leicester at the end of next month.

''He is 39 years old but he wants to play for another season,'' Tigers rugby director Richard Cockerill said in announcing Thorn's signing.

''I had a long discussion with him about what he wants to do and he wants to play in the Aviva Premiership. He wants to come here and test himself.

''That says a lot about him at this stage in his career, after all he has achieved, and the circumstances have created an opportunity for him here.

''We look forward to seeing him and bringing that experience into the squad.''

Thorn started his professional sports career with the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL in 1994. He won three NRL titles and a Super League title in two stints as a second-rower with Brisbane. He also played league for Queensland and Australia.

He made a successful transition to rugby, playing 59 tests for the All Blacks, capped by the 2011 World Cup success.

He also won silverware with Canterbury and the Crusaders during his New Zealand rugby career.

Thorn's arrival in England came as the Leicester Tigers confirmed they were losing Steve Mafi, the Australian lock/flanker who was set to join the Western Force in Super Rugby.

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