Former All Black Brad Thorn has signed a one-year contract to play with the Highlanders for the 2013 Investec Super Rugby season.

The franchise announced today it had secured the contract of the veteran lock, and he would join up with the squad at the start of next year.

He was rumoured to be in the sights of the Highlanders three weeks ago and the move was confirmed by the franchise this afternoon.

He has 59 test caps for the All Blacks and has won virtually every honour in the game.


Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph said Thorn's professional attitude and commitment was a welcome addition to the side.

"Brad brings a great deal of professionalism to any team he plays for. His work ethic, experience and leadership will add a great deal to our team and have a very positive influence on the younger players" commented Joseph.

"Brad is a very competitive athlete and from what I saw in Japan recently he is still playing rugby at an International standard".

"We talk a lot about the culture at the Highlanders and Brad is a perfect fit, both on and off the field" added Joseph.

Joseph had been in Japan recently, where Thorn was playing, and said he was still playing to a high level.

Thorn, who will be 38 in February, last played in New Zealand at the World Cup last year.

His presence at the Highlanders will be a huge boost as the side looks to build to a strong 2012 campaign.