Rugby: Brad Thorn pours cold water on Michael Cheika's 'disrespect' claims

Brad Thorn. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Brad Thorn. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Former All Black Brad Thorn has scoffed at Michael Cheika's claim that the world champions 'disrespected' the Wallabies last week, saying that respect is the cornerstone of the All Blacks success.

"We always worked very hard on that because in any sport if you don't respect your opponents you are due for a beating," the 59-Test veteran said on the Courier-Mail podcast Colman's Call.

Following Saturday's defeat Cheika took aim at the New Zealand Herald over being depicted as a clown and then claimed the All Blacks did not respect the Wallabies, suggesting they were involved in the media caricature.

"Why would you let the opposition call your team clowns and mock the jersey? That's how I feel about it," he said.

"Maybe others don't. Maybe that's not the way. But I've never had an Australian jersey so I think it's something that should be treasured.

"We're going there for a good contest and I think they (All Blacks) are connected to it (the photo mock up) obviously because they are talking about it.

"That's my opinion and I'm entitled to voice my opinion, right or wrong."

Thorn said the All Blacks "culture of respect" was an eye-opener after his years in rugby league.

Thorn, a New Zealand-born Queenslander, played 460 game of first class rugby league and rugby union over a staggering career spanning two decades and including Rugby World Cup, Super Rugby, European Cup, NRL grand final and State of Origin triumphs.

He played 59 tests for the All Blacks including the Rugby World Cup final in 2011, his final test for New Zealand.

"You had to sit in a certain seat on the bus. You had to earn your way to the back seat. On an aeroplane we didn't get off until the public got off.

'It was all respectful stuff and I got used to that, so I think the current All Blacks would definitely respect the Wallabies. It's a Test match between two countries that have been going at it for 100 odd years."

The 41-year-old believes that Cheika's angst over the New Zealand Herald "clown cartoon" on the eve of last weekend's test match was overblown.

"With the media, stuff goes on and you've got to keep that in perspective. It's something that makes State of Origin interesting. There's stuff thrown by either side and it spices things up."

- news.com.au

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