Brad Thorn picks Alfie Langer over Dan Carter

Brad Thorn embraces Dan Carter after winning a Bledisloe Cup match. Photo / Getty
Brad Thorn embraces Dan Carter after winning a Bledisloe Cup match. Photo / Getty

Brad Thorn has picked Alfie Langer over Dan Carter and Darren Lockyer as the best playmaker he has ever played with.

With Thorn's decorated playing career finally coming to an end, he reflected on the best players he has played with in a wide-ranging interview with The Courier Mail.

The former league player had played with some of the greats of the game in Langer, Carter and Lockyer, and says Langer was the premier playmaker of the bunch.

"If he decided to score on his own he would, or he'd do something special with a grubber, a pass or a step so someone else did. That was week after week, year after year to win games.

"Dan was a bigger, stronger man than Locky and very strong defensively. Both were country guys. Dan was quieter but didn't mind a party like Locky either."

Thorn has had experience playing in the most intense sporting arenas, and says State of Origin and All Blacks tests are similar in physicality.

"I'd put State of Origin in league on the same level as an All Blacks-Springboks Test in rugby union. They have the same ingredients with a natural enemy, capacity crowds that want blood and just a warzone mentality to the way the games are played."

Thorn signaled out Richie McCaw as one of the toughest teammates he had played alongside.

"Richie McCaw was phenomenal for the All Blacks. For 15 years or more, he was over the ball giving opposition forwards of 115kg almost a free shot to do damage with head and shoulders to clean him out."

Thorn also had plenty of praise for the All Blacks' team environment.

"The All Blacks are a very grounded team. To me what binds the fabric of sport is caring about mates and caring about your team.

"If you care about the mate beside you, you are going to put your body on the line and do the extras.

"Good teams have good senior players and I always felt that was a real strength of the All Blacks environment."

- NZ Herald

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