Saturday 24 September 2016

'Lifting the European Cup alongside Brian O’Driscoll was better than winning the World Cup with New Zealand'

Brad Thorn remembers his time at Leinster fondly

Published 07/04/2015 | 12:06

Brad Thorn with the Heineken Cup for Leinster in 2012
Brad Thorn with the Heineken Cup for Leinster in 2012

He has dined at the very top table in world rugby but for New Zealand legend Brad Thorn, lifting the Heineken Cup trophy alongside Brian O’Driscoll is a moment that simply can’t be beaten.

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Thorne was a World Cup winner with the All Blacks in 2011 but says that period felt more like a duty rather than enjoyment.

Currently plying his trade with Leicester Tigers, 40-year-old Thorn has played in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland and England but it’s the 2012 Heineken Cup win that stands out most.

“When I held up the cup with Brian O'Driscoll, that was just gold,” said Thorn in an interview with ESPNscrum.

While it doesn’t get any bigger than a World Cup win, Thorn feels the pressure that comes with it blunts the joy of winning the holy grail somewhat.

"The World Cup wasn't really like that for me, it was a duty to my country," he says. "There was too much on the line. There's too much at stake.

"I was a senior member of that team and it was a job I just had to get done and then move on with my life. Even to my team-mates, I knew I couldn't show any weakness. I didn't sleep very well, I was pretty much run down by the time we reached the final. The pool stage was fine but when we reached the quarter-finals I shut myself down, it was business time. I was in tears after the whistle in the final and that was because I had put so much pressure on myself."

Read full interview here

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