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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 16 December, 2018

Brad Thorn will finish his career by captaining the Baa-Baas

The hugely successful All Black partners Samu Manoa in a blockbusting second row.

BRAD THORN WILL bring his playing career to a close by captaining the Barbarians against England at Twickenham tomorrow afternoon [KO 15.00].

Brad Thorn Thorn was in Ireland during the week but didn't play against Joe Schmidt's men. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The legendary lock will lead the invitational side from the second row in what is his final appearance before hanging up his boots to move into a coaching position with the Queensland Reds in Australia.

Thorn won the 2011 Rugby World Cup with New Zealand, while his remarkable CV also includes a Heineken Cup title with Leinster, a Super Rugby win with the Crusaders, two NPCs, five Bledisloe Cups, four Tri-Nations, four NRL titles with the Broncos in rugby league, as well as a World Club Championship and Super League title in the 13-man code.

A 14-times representative of Queensland in the State of Origin, Thorn was an Australian international in league before going on to win 59 Test caps for the All Blacks in union.

Add to those honours the individual prizes he has picked up over the last 20 years and Thorn is one of the all-time rugby greats. Having played out his final season with the Leicester Tigers, he now calls time on his playing career by leading the Baa-Baas.

Robbie Deans’ men have made a number of changes to the team that beat Joe Schmidt’s Ireland 22-21 at Thomond Park on Thursday evening, with impressive Wallabies flanker George Smith also called on to start.

Brad Thorn Thorn goes through his stretched in Thomond Park on Wednesday. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The explosive Toulon-bound USA international Samu Manoa partners Thorn in a blockbusting second row, while the likes of Gio Aplon, Tusi Pisi and the retiring Ugo Monye start in the backline.

Off the bench, another former Leinster lock will make his final appearance before retiring to take up a coaching position, as Nathan Hines is set to join Vern Cotter’s backroom staff with the Scotland national team this summer.


15. Gio Aplon (Grenoble & South Africa) 17 caps
14. David Smith (Toulon) 0
13. Joe Rokocoko (Bayonne & New Zealand) 68
12. Wynand Olivier (Montpellier & South Africa) 38
11. Ugo Monye (Harlequins & England) 14
10. Tusi Pisi (Suntory Sungoliath & Samoa) 20
9. Tomas Cubelli (Belgrano Ath & Argentina) 34

1. Saimone Taumoepeau (Castres & New Zealand) 3
2. David Ward (Harlequins) 0
3. Matias Diaz (Pampas & Argentina) 8
4. Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints and USA) 10
5. Brad Thorn (Leicester Tigers & New Zealand, captain) 59
6. George Whitelock (Panasonic Wild Knights & New Zealand) 1
7. George Smith (Lyon & Australia) 111
8. Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs & England) 5


16. Deon Fourie (Lyon) 0
17. Roberto Tejerizo (Tucuman & Argentina) 4
18. Adam Jones (Cardiff Blues & Wales) 95
19. Nathan Hines (Sale Sharks & Scotland) 77
20. Pablo Matera (Pampas & Argentina) 13
21. Ruan Pienaar (Ulster & South Africa) 80
22. Stephen Brett (Lyon) 0
23. Yoshi Fujita (Panasonic Wild Knights & Japan) 21

* number = international caps.


15. Mathew Tait (Leicester Tigers)
14. Christian Wade (Wasps)
13. Elliot Daly (Wasps)
12. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
11. Marland Yarde Harlequins)
10. Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks)
9. Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints, captain)

1. Matt Mullan (Wasps)
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
3. Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons)
4. Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers)
5. Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
6. Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
7. Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
8. Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks)


16. Tommy Taylor (Sale Sharks)
17. Alex Waller (Northampton Saints)
18. Gareth Denman (Northampton Saints)
19. James Gaskell (Wasps)
20. Jon Fisher (Northampton Saints)
21. Will Chudley (Exeter Chiefs)
22. Shane Geraghty (London Irish)
23. Alex Lewington (London Irish)

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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