Shift in Strength
Following this year’s World Cup, All Black and Crusaders lock Mosgiel-born Brad Thorn will play for Japanese club Fukuoka Sanix Blues. Thorn, a key component of the All Blacks’ engine room for 5 tests, has signed a two-year deal with the Japanese side which takes effect from the end of the 211 season, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) confirmed. All Blacks coach Graham Henry said Thorn was “one of a kind, a special man and a special All Black”. “He is a tower of strength to the All Blacks and New Zealand rugby and is the ultimate professional — professionalism which has been honed over 17 years of top-level football,” Henry said. Thorn, whose uncompromising style has made him a favourite of the fans, first made a name for himself in rugby league with NRL side the Brisbane Broncos, before switching codes after seven seasons to play Super Rugby in New Zealand in 21.