allblacks.com 03.May.2013Getty Images
One of the toughest competitors in New Zealand rugby, veteran lock Brad Thorn, is set to mark his 100th match in Investec Super Rugby when he leads the Highlanders out onto Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night.
“This is a wonderful achievement by a remarkable athlete and we congratulate Brad on his century of appearances,” said New Zealand Rugby Chairman Mike Eagle.
Thorn, 38, will lock down for the Highlanders’ scrum in their Round 12 match against the Sharks having previously played 92 games for the Crusaders between 2001 and 2011. He will join a small and illustrious group of centurions, with only Anton Oliver (127 games), Jimmy Cowan (108), Tony Brown (108) and Chris King (102) also to reach the milestone while playing for the southern franchise.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen will make a special presentation of a greenstone mere to Thorn following the match. This traditional gift is presented to all New Zealand Investec Super Rugby players when reaching the 100 game milestone.
“Tomorrow night’s match will mark another significant chapter in what has been an extraordinary career,” said Eagle. “The passion and commitment Brad has exhibited throughout his career mark him as the consummate professional sportsman.
“For Brad to celebrate his century in Dunedin, only a few kilometres from his birthplace in Mosgiel, will be very special for him and his family.
“His impressive rugby CV boasts 59 tests for the All Blacks, including a Rugby World Cup win, and 30 appearances for Canterbury. He has also tasted success on both sides of the rugby world having last year added a Heineken Cup championship winner’s medal to his collection after helping Leinster to the title.
“I am sure rugby fans throughout New Zealand and around the world will salute Brad on his latest achievement,” said Eagle.
Highlanders' Head Coach Jamie Joseph said of Thorn: "Brad is a great player who brings a work ethic like no other. He's a natural leader within our environment, and he has added a massive amount to our leadership group this season."
Highlanders Chief Executive Roger Clark said: “On behalf of the Highlanders franchise, and all those who support Brad, we offer our congratulations on achieving 100 Super Rugby games. He brings up this milestone in a Highlanders jersey with his family in attendance, which is special for all of us.”
For more on Brad Thorn's rugby career click here.