9 Apr 2015

Dual-code star Brad Thorn to retire

6:30 am on 9 April 2015

The veteran code-hopping rugby union and league star Brad Thorn has announced he will finally hang up the boots at the end of the English rugby season.

Former All Black Brad Thorn

Former All Black Brad Thorn Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 40-year-old former All Black World Cup-winning lock turned Leicester captain originally made his name in rugby league and won eight caps in the 13-man game for Australia, while winning three NRL titles and a Super League title with the Brisbane Broncos.

But the New Zealand-born Thorn then made the switch to rugby union before returning to league, only to cross codes again in 2008.

In all, he won 50 caps for the All Blacks and was a key member of the New Zealand side that won the 2011 World Cup on home soil.

Thorn also won several Tri-Nations titles with New Zealand, the 2008 Super Rugby title with the Crusaders and the 2012 European Cup crown with Irish province Leinster in his impressive union career.

Now he aims to finish his career by helping English giants Leicester lift the Premiership trophy.

"My goal was to play top-level rugby at 40 and to play well, and I've done that," Thorn said.

The former Crusaders, Leinster and Highlanders forward joined Leicester in August, and went on to become the oldest captain in the club's history earlier this season.

"I had a few niggles but otherwise I've been really pleased with how I've played here and my body feels really good," he said.

"But it's just got to a stage where mainly I'm just playing here because I want to play."

Thorn insisted his desire for more silverware, which would come if the Tigers won the Premiership final, was as strong as ever and in no way increased by his impending retirement.

"It's more of the same, 20 years of the same, I want to win the trophy every year," he said.

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