Rugby: Thorn to bring up ton

Brad Thorn. Photo /Getty Images
Brad Thorn. Photo /Getty Images

Brad Thorn will run out onto Forsyth Barr Stadium for his 100th Super Rugby appearance tomorrow night when the Highlanders search for their first win of the season against the Sharks.

The former All Black joins fellow Highlander Chris King who also reached this significant milestone earlier this season.

Thorn made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders in 2001 and played 92 games for the red & blacks up until the end of 2011. He signed with the Highlanders in 2013 and he joins a small and illustrious group of centurions, with only Anton Oliver (127 games), Jimmy Cowan (108), Tony Brown (108) and King (102) also to reach the milestone while playing for the southern franchise.

"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' coach Jamie Joseph said.

Joseph has made four changes to the starting team that played the Crusaders in Christchurch a fortnight ago.

The Highlanders forward pack remains unchanged from the eight that started against the Crusaders. In the backs, Colin Slade starts at 10 and Hayden Parker moves back to the reserves. Ma'a Nonu has been ruled out through injury, bringing Shaun Treeby back into the starting XV in his place. Tamati Ellison makes a long awaited return from a shoulder injury and he will start at centre. Phil Burleigh will start on the right wing.

Highlanders team to play the Sharks at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin tomorrow 7.35pm.
1. Tony Woodcock, 2. Andrew Hore (captain), 3. Chris King, 4. Brad Thorn, 5. Josh Bekhuis, 6. Jarrad Hoeata, 7. John Hardie, 8. TJ Ioane, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Colin Slade, 11. Hosea Gear (vice-captain), 12. Shaun Treeby, 13. Tamati Ellison, 14. Phil Burleigh, 15. Ben Smith. Reserves: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Ma'afu Fia, 18. Elliot Dixon, 19. Joe Wheeler, 20. Fumiaka Tanaka, 21. Hayden Parker, 22. Jason Emery

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