Brad Thorn eyeing historic world rugby treble with victory in London

The Kiwi lock could become the first player to win the Rugby World Cup, Heineken Cup and Super Rugby titles.

IF LEINSTER BEAT Irish provincial rivals Ulster at Twickenham this weekend, Brad Thorn will make a little bit of personal history.

The veteran lock could well become the first player in the history of the game to have won the Rugby World Cup, the Heineken Cup and Super Rugby titles.

It wouldn’t be a bad haul.

The 37-year-old, who is on a three-month contract with the reigning European Cup champions, was part of the New Zealand squad which triumphed at the World Cup last year and he also won the Super 14 with Canterbury Crusaders in 2008.

In addition, Thorn will become the oldest player to appear in a Heineken Cup final at 37 years, three months and 16 days. To date, Perpignan’s Marc Dal Maso, who came on as a replacement in the 2003 final, is the oldest player at 36 years, three months and 10 days, while the oldest tournament winner is Darren Garforth who was 36 years, one month and 19 days when he was a winner with Leicester Tigers in 2002.

“I just love my footie. I like being here, the challenge of it and being part of a Heineken Cup,” said Thorn this week.

“Leinster are a great side with a great coaching team in Joe Schmidt, Greg Feek and Jono Gibbes — the whole package. Being in the Heineken Cup final is juicy, but basically there’s a brick wall between us and the cup in Ulster.”

Meanwhile, if Pedrie Wannenburg is selected and if Ulster secure their second title after a 13-year wait, then the South African back row will become the third player to have won both Heineken Cup and Super Rugby titles.

Wannenburg, won three Super 14s with the Blue Bulls in 2007, 2009 and 2010, could match the achievement of Rod Kafer (ACT Brumbies 2001 and Leicester Tigers 2002) and Doug Howlett (Auckland Blues 2003 and Munster Rugby 2008) in what will be his last match for Ulster.

We’ll be live from Twickenham on Saturday

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