Rugby: Thorn eyes historic triple crown

Brad Thorn is chasing a European Cup to add to his Rugby World Cup, Super Rugby and NRL titles. Photo / Getty Images
Brad Thorn is chasing a European Cup to add to his Rugby World Cup, Super Rugby and NRL titles. Photo / Getty Images

Brad Thorn, enough already. Most sportsmen would be deeply satisfied with a 200-game rugby league career that netted four premierships with the Brisbane Broncos, State of Origin and Australian honours.

Or a rugby union career that consisted of 59 Tests for the All Blacks, including last year's Rugby World Cup triumph, 92 caps for the Crusaders and a Super Rugby title.

But not both.

The 37-year-old is planning on adding the European Cup to his bulging resume in Saturday's (Sunday AM NZT) all-Irish final at Twickenham.

The second-rower was drafted in by Leinster two months ago because of an injury crisis and this weekend's final against Ulster follows an exhausting 16-month schedule.

Thorn, who will become the oldest player in a European Cup final, played for his Japanese club Fukuoka Sanix Blues only a fortnight after lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in Auckland seven months ago.

Not that his enthusiasm for the game is flagging.

"I just love my footie, I like being here, the challenge of it and being part of a Heineken Cup,'' he said.

"Yeah being in the Heineken Cup final is juicy, but basically there's a brick wall between us and the cup in Ulster.

"Wayne Bennett was my (Brisbane) Broncos coach and he always said the hardest thing is to get to the final, and what happens then will happen.

"But the hardest thing is getting there.

"I have been playing and training without a break now for 16 months - which is the most I've ever done in my career - so it is insane.''

Only two rugby players, Rod Kafer and Doug Howlett, have won a Super Rugby title and a European Cup.

Nobody has ever won a World Cup, Super Rugby title and a European Cup.

But who would dare bet against Thorn?

- AAP

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