Former All Blacks hardman Adam Thomson has capped off a miraculous late-career recovery from spending 57 days hospital bound in 2017, to signing with the Chiefs.

The 37-year-old announced today on Instagram that he had successfully completed 'day one' with the Super Rugby side ahead of their season opener against the Blues this month and was 'grateful for the incredible opportunity'.

Thomson has joined the Chiefs as one of eight replacement players currently in with the squad.

"It's a strange old beast this life we live, this time two years ago I was flat on my back in a Japanese hospital unable to walk," Thomson posted on Instagram. "So never underestimate what the human body can do with a little self belief and a whole lot of hard work - persistence pays."


"Day 1 done, but we're just getting started. Rent's due. Let's go to work!"

Thomson said: "I am really excited to work under Gats and I am also excited to be in a team like the Chiefs. It's a team I've always looked up to, especially playing against them. The flare that they bring and the excitement. They seem like they have a lot of fun out there which is always a team you want to be involved with. If I get an opportunity to play for the team it'll be immense."

Thomson was admitted to Tsukuba Memorial hospital in Tokyo on December 19 2017, with an illness that left him unable to walk for days and initially had doctors baffled.

He posted from his hospital bed during Christmas 2017 saying he had a long road to recovery ahead after being rushed to hospital in "excruciating pain".

He was later diagnosed with lumbar discitis — an infection in the intervertebral disc space.

View this post on Instagram

Christmas this year so far has been mostly spent in hospital with the BFG giving me the biggest fright in the 6 years we've been doing life together. A few nights ago I had to rush him to A&E in the middle of the night & it's been one hell of an ordeal. But day three and things are finally looking up 👌🏽 There is still no official diagnosis(they suspect it's been a severe infection thats caused serious internal inflamation & excruciating pain) but I'm just so grateful to see him slowly start getting back to his old self (when he starts taking the piss, winding me up and being a menace it's a good sign!) & getting that famous Thomo sense of humour back. Fingers crossed tomorrow he can actually sit up and maybe even walk 🤞I'd love to have him home for Christmas day so that's the goal we are working towards atm 😊💓 What was meant to be a holiday visit for my bro @ra_guru to spend Christmas with us has turned into THE biggest godsend right now. When Adam and I are so far from home and our family & friends at a time like this it's been especially hard so having our favourite third wheel here has been amazing. @ra_guru I'm sorry it's not quite been the holiday you were expecting but thank you for making us smile and bringing some much needed laughter back into our lives. I'm definitely counting my blessings right now and am so thankful for the people that matter the most in my life. Thank you to everyone who has sent us well wishes and reached out, it's not gone unnoticed ❤️

A post shared by Jessie Gurunathan (@jessie_guru) on

"New year, new jersey... Last week I was camping in the MacKenzie Country for some overdue kiwi-summer family time. Today I pulled on this jersey and mixed it up with 8 current allblacks and a superrugbynz side stacked with talent!"

Thomson left New Zealand at the end of the 2012 Super Rugby season after 68 appearances for the Highlanders to take up a contract with the Canon Eagles in Japan.

He returned to Super Rugby in 2015 and '16, playing for the Reds and Rebels respectively, before going back to Japan, linking back up with the Canon Eagles.


In 2017 he joined the NEC Green Rockets in the Japanese Top League.

As well as taking the field for the All Blacks, Thomson represented New Zealand at secondary schools, under-19, under-21 and Sevens levels.