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Former Leinster and All Blacks star Brad Thorn joins the Leicester Tigers

Published 19/08/2014 | 18:27

Brad Thorn alongside Rob Kearney and Ica Nacewa during his Leinster days. Picture: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Brad Thorn alongside Rob Kearney and Ica Nacewa during his Leinster days. Picture: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Leicester have signed New Zealand World Cup winner Brad Thorn.

Tigers rugby director Richard Cockerill confirmed on Tuesday that the 39-year-old lock will arrive at Welford Road "in the next month or so".

Thorn became the first player in rugby history to win the World Cup (2011), a Super Rugby title and the Heineken Cup, achieving that latter feat two years ago when he was a Leinster player.

He collected 59 All Blacks caps and will move to Tigers from the Dunedin-based Highlanders.

"Brad Thorn will arrive in the next month or so and will be available to play for us by the end of September," Cockerill said.

"He is 39-years-old but he wants to play for another season.

"I had a long discussion with him about what he wants to do and he wants to play in the Aviva Premiership. He wants to come here and test himself.

"That says a lot about him at this stage in his career, after all he has achieved, and the circumstances have created an opportunity for him here.

"We look forward to seeing him and bringing that experience into the squad."

Thorn, who also enjoyed a highly-successful rugby league career in Australia, will join a Tigers squad that is set to lose versatile forward Steve Mafi.

Australian Mafi, who can play lock or flanker, is ready to link up with Perth-based Western Force, although it is understood that a few minor details surrounding his move have still to be finalised.

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