Brad Thorn joins Leinster

2012-03-07 17:41

Dublin - World Cup-winning lock Brad Thorn of New Zealand is joining Leinster on a three-month contract, the Irish province announced Wednesday.

Thorn, 37, arrived in Dublin this week on temporary loan from Japanese club Fukuoka Sanix Blues, where he has been playing since helping the All Blacks win their second Rugby World Cup title when they beat France 8-7 on home soil in a tense final in Auckland in October.

His arrival coincides with reigning European champions Leinster's need for second row cover ahead of their quarter-final clash against Cardiff Blues in Dublin next month.

"It's great to have Brad to help us through until the end of the season," said Leinster coach Joe Schmidt.

"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," he added.

Thorn is only the second man in history to have played test rugby league for Australia and test rugby union for New Zealand.

He also won NRL Grand Final titles with the Brisbane Broncos, and New Zealand in rugby union, winning the Super 14 with Canterbury Crusaders.

He was capped 49 times by the All Blacks from 2003 to 2011, culminating in the World Cup triumph, and Thorn also helped New Zealand win several Tri-Nations titles.