Brad Thorn bigraphy, stories - New Zealand-Australian rugby league player

Brad Thorn : biography

3 February 1975 -

Bradley Carnegie Thorn (born 3 February 1975 in Mosgiel, New Zealand) is a professional rugby union player. He has in the past represented Australia at rugby league, and New Zealand in union. A lock, Thorn is a former All Black, and is currently the captain of the Highlanders in the Super Rugby competition. Thorn is one of the most successful rugby union players and was the first player to win a World Cup, a Super Rugby title and the Heineken Cup.

He previously played rugby league for ten years for the Brisbane Broncos in the National Rugby League competition and has also represented Queensland in the State of Origin series. His preferred position in rugby league was in the , though he was equally effective as a . In 2000 Thorn was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in rugby league.


Having relocated with his family from New Zealand to Australia at age eight, Thorn's junior football was rugby league played in Queensland with Aspley and Wests Arana. He was signed as a junior with the Brisbane Broncos in 1994 and that same year represented Australia in the Junior Kangaroos side.

Professional rugby career

League (1994-2000)

Thorn made his first grade debut in the NSWRL for the Brisbane Broncos, who were then defending premiers, in the 1994 Winfield Cup season's 12th round against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. At season's end he was awarded the club's rookie of the year award.

At the outbreak of the Super League war in 1995, Thorn along with the rest of his Broncos team-mates and players of several other clubs, was aligned with Super League and so ineligible for selection in the Australian Rugby League's 1995 State of Origin series or post-season 1995 Rugby League World Cup. The following year, when all players were again allowed to be selected for representative football, Thorn's debut for the Queensland Maroons came in Game I of the 1996 State of Origin series. He held his place at second-row forward for all three games of that series.

In the 1997 Super League season Thorn played in all three games for Queensland in that year's Super League Tri-series. He also made his international representative debut for Australia against New Zealand. Thorn also won his first premiership with the Broncos when they defeated the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the 1997 Super League grand final in Brisbane. In the 1997 post season, Thorn was selected to travel to England and play for Australia at prop forward in all three matches of the Super League Test series against Great Britain, scoring a try in the third and deciding Test victory. It was on this tour that his front-row partner Jason Stevens helped convince Thorn to convert to Christianity.

Following the sport's re-unification under the National Rugby League, Thorn was selected in Game II of the 1998 State of Origin series. He also continued to represent Australia in all three Tests of the 1998 international series against New Zealand. Thorn also played at second-row forward in the Broncos' victory at the 1998 NRL Grand Final, gaining his second premiership ring.

Thorn was selected to play for Queensland again in Game III of 1999 State of Origin series and all three matches of the 2000 State of Origin series. He then played at second-row forward for the Broncos in their 2000 NRL Grand Final win over the Sydney Roosters, claiming a 3rd premiership. After that Thorn returned to New Zealand to play rugby union.

Union (2001-2004)

In 2001 Thorn moved to New Zealand and switched to rugby union, playing for the Crusaders in the Super 12 and Canterbury in the National Provincial Championship. He was part of the Canterbury squad that won the NPC in 2001. He had initially been picked for the end of year All Black tour in 2001 but he pulled out due to his own uncertainty of commitment to the 15 man game. In 2003, Thorn went on to play for New Zealand's All Blacks, appearing in 12 tests, including the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup. He thus became a dual rugby-code international, the second man in history (after Bill Hardcastle) to have represented Australia in league and New Zealand in union. In 2004 Thorn won the NPC with Canterbury. He also won the Tri-Nations with NZ in 2003.

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