Former All Blacks and Crusaders lock Brad Thorn has joined Irish club Leinster on a three-month contract.
The 2011 World Cup winner has arrived in Dublin on loan from Japanese outfit Fukuoka Sanix Blues, where he has been playing since he left New Zealand rugby after helping the All Blacks to win the Rugby World Cup last year.
It's a timely move as the reigning European champions require lock cover ahead of their quarterfinal clash against Cardiff Blues in Dublin next month.
"It's great to have Brad to help us through until the end of the season," Leinster coach Joe Schmidt said.
"After Leo's (Cullen) injury and Steven Sykes' return to South Africa we were short of options at second row, but Brad's arrival will supplement the likes of Damian Browne, Devin Toner and Mark Flanagan, as we look ahead to a demanding few months.
"Obviously Brad won't have a lot of time to find his feet, but I know the quality he brings and how keen he is to make a contribution both on and off the field."
Thorn, one of only two men to have played test rugby league for Australia and test rugby union for New Zealand, was capped 49 times by the All Blacks from 2003-11.
- © Fairfax NZ News