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Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Brad Thorn on Rugby League, the World Cup, and life's percentages

As he heads into what will no doubt be his final season of Test rugby, former League international and current All Black lock Brad Thorn reflects on a career that has taken many twists and turns along the way.

So established in the New Zealand rugby set-up now, some of you may not realise that not only is Thorn a former League veteran, but he actually represented Australia against New Zealand in a few games, having got there while playing for Queensland in the NRL.

His loyalties have been divided for a while now and after making a switch to Union in 2001, and a move to his homeland across the Tasman, Thorn made it into the All Blacks squad for the World Cup in 2003, before moving back to Brisbane in 2005 to again play League.

Two years later he made his final switch, back to Union, and has been a force with the Crusaders, and later the All Blacks, ever since. In this video from the IRB's Total Rugby show, Thorn talks about the League vs Union comparisons, says why he considers a Tri Nations tournament to be tougher than a World Cup, and talks about his future off the field.

The powerful second rower has had a fascinating career filled with accolades, but there's one trophy that still escapes him, so he'll no doubt be aiming to make that right later this year in New Zealand.

If you're heading to the World Cup in New Zealand, check out our handy guide that features all sorts of information about ticket sales, what to do between games, and package information. Read through the guide now

Time: 04:59
Note: Thanks to Total Rugby for the feature



  • Thorn is a beast

    By Blogger Corbin, at January 19, 2011 6:57 pm  

  • One mean hombre.

    By Anonymous Jimmymc1, at January 19, 2011 6:59 pm  

  • Thorn is not a beast.

    By Anonymous Nibroc, at January 19, 2011 7:00 pm  

  • Brad Thorn represents all the right values that rugby should always be about.

    By Blogger Jeffrey, at January 19, 2011 7:41 pm  

  • doesn't sound like the sharpest knife in the drawer... still, nice guy and great player

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 19, 2011 8:21 pm  

  • even his voice is scary, and his face tells a thousand stories!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 19, 2011 8:48 pm  

  • Good thing his not set on teaching math, 3 x 80 percent. But he is a brilliant fotty player! ! !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 19, 2011 9:36 pm  

  • ^^ maybe he teaches spelling?

    Some of you are very critical, he seems like a really nice guy.

    By Anonymous Phil, at January 19, 2011 10:12 pm  

  • what a legend Brad thorn is - thanks RD

    By Anonymous jamestheconvict, at January 19, 2011 10:16 pm  

  • @Nibroc Thron would eat you then your family, followed by a T-Bone Steak for breakfast.

    Then he's make your GF do things you didn't think were possible.

    I just hope, for your sake, Thorn doesn't read this thread.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 19, 2011 10:46 pm  

  • Maybe League should send all it's slow old men to Union where they are considered mean enforcers.

    By Anonymous lockedout, at January 19, 2011 10:57 pm  

  • Not the brightest coal on the fire.... And certainly no enforcer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 19, 2011 11:51 pm  

  • @ Anonymous

    He meant that he would rather focus on league 100%, family 100% and studing 100%. Rather than mixing things up and only giving it 80% for each.

    Think about it...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 19, 2011 11:55 pm  

  • Ha, certainly no enforcer?
    He would rip your head off.
    He's one of the toughest blokes in rugby. He's not some atention seeking, fight starting fuckwit, he does his work in tackles, in hit ups and in rucks.
    And he has the respect of everyone who actually knows anything abut rugby.
    He's probably the most reliable second rower in the game, and is a huge part of what makes the All Blacks the best team in the world. He's one of the first names on their team sheet.

    By Anonymous Tom, at January 20, 2011 12:18 am  

  • Maybe League should send all it's slow old men to Union where they are considered mean enforcers


    What a load of bollocks. When Thorn first switched to Rugby Union, that's what people said. And he moved back to the NRL, and proved the doubters wrong.

    There's plenty of "slow old men" who are still considered enforcers in league, atleast up until very recently. Steven Price and Petrols seventy cents a litre, to name but two.

    As for people implying Thorn isn't too smart, that's aload of nonsense aswell. He's conflicted, not stupid. He doesn't want to be perceived(imo) as disrespecting either code. And he's got a raspy deep voice because he took too many high shots in League(despite his height, lmfao).

    If some of you read about Thorns life and troubles you would better appreciate the interview.

    He may not be a Mensa member but he's more genuine and kind hearted than alot of the public school 'intelligent' players.

    Thorn >

    By Anonymous Chris, at January 20, 2011 1:23 am  

  • By enforcer is someone comparing him to Bakkies?

    Thorn is 10 times the place that Bakkies is/ever was.

    Bakkies is a fat useless cheat who can barely keep up in curry cup.

    Thorn is King.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 20, 2011 2:11 am  

  • ^ lol? Bakkies Botha is one half of the best locking pair of all time... most capped locking pair of all time too... Also a world cup winner, legend status.

    Thorn can't clean rucks like Botha can, he can't win lineouts like Botha can and he can't get over the advantage line like Botha can.

    I know most other nationalities hate Bakkies Botha because he owns everyone physically but give credit where it's due. Just remember what Botha and Victor did to the All Blacks lineout in 2009 and would have done in 2010 had Botha not been suspended. ( Something like 11 stolen lineouts in one game)

    Thorn is also too short to be considered a top lock.

    Btw, it's Currie Cup, not Curry.

    Seems to me like Thorn just switches sports because he can never be the best at any.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 20, 2011 3:12 am  

  • Interesting what he says about how tough the Tri-Nations is... sometimes (in Australia at least) some people seem to take the competition for granted and don't give it full respect/attention for how tough the games are and how great winning in it is.

    By Anonymous Wilted, at January 20, 2011 4:22 am  

  • He seems to me like a tough, quiet guy who goes about his business on the pitch and doing all the physical stuff quite well. Also underrated with ball in hand, gets across the advantage line, and has excellent hands.

    Lot of respect for Thorn. How many rugby players have been as good as him at his age? Especially for a 2nd rower.

    By Blogger Douglas, at January 20, 2011 5:46 am  

  • Thorn is freak of nature, being able to switch from League to Union back to League and then back to Union, and be able to play at the highest level in each sport upon his return.

    Probably the only man to turn down an All Black jersey because he didn't want to disrespect it by heading straight back to League (please note Sonny-Bill).

    Interesting point about the Tri-Nations being tougher than the World Cup. He is crucial to the All Blacks success in the World Cup this year.

    By Anonymous Wolfman, at January 20, 2011 6:45 am  

  • lad...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 20, 2011 7:25 am  

  • Immense player, one of the best second rower in the game. One of the best career any sportsman ever had, too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 20, 2011 1:18 pm  

  • I think Jeffrey made a pretty good point. I've always thought of John Smit as being the embodiment of what rugby ought to be, but Thorn is definitely right up there too.

    And Anonymous, Botha isn't 1/2 of the best lock pairing in the world; Matfield is responsible for much more than 50% there - he's one of the best even without Botha.

    And your point about not being the best is also off - like Smith, Thorn may not be the best player in his position at any given moment (though he's always a powerful player), but his character is worth its weight in gold.

    By Anonymous no rain in spain, at January 20, 2011 3:53 pm  

  • Of course Tri nations is the toughest. The 3 best teams in the world.

    By Anonymous m1, at January 20, 2011 10:54 pm  

  • If only we had one like him in the french team at the moment !! Although Nallet is coming close to him. When Jeffrey said at January 19, 2011 7:41 PM that Brad Thorn represents all the right values that rugby should always be about, he is spot on !!!
    8-) A french team suffering supporter !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 21, 2011 9:53 am  

  • legend

    By Anonymous rosh, at January 21, 2011 2:51 pm  

  • Anonymous said...Seems to me like Thorn just switches sports because he can never be the best at any.

    Congratulations Anon, you take the award for "not the sharpest knife in the draw".

    By Anonymous mooloo, at January 23, 2011 2:02 pm  

  • I loved watching Brad play for the Broncs, I did not even know he was a kiwi. When he first switched to Rugby I was suprised, forwards that switch between rugby and league and vice versa are usually a disaster. But he proved everyone wrong the came back again! Finally he has found his place with the All Blacks and I hope that he can go out on a good note this year, a class act.

    By Anonymous Cold in Canada, at February 12, 2011 2:06 am  

  • he has the same last name as me

    By Blogger annabel, at August 20, 2011 9:15 am  

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