After weeks of rumour and speculation, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have finally confirmed the sign...
23 hours ago
Brisbane Bronco forward Brad Thorn hasn't played a State of Origin rugby league game for more than four years.
If things go Brads way, that's about to change.
Thorn, back at the Broncos after a stint in rugby union, declared his desire to return to the Queensland fold.
"I'll always make myself available for representative football," Thorn said.
"It's just great playing that level.
"I understand those guys who do step away from it late in their careers - the ones who play so much footy year in and year out and feel they owe their club better service - but personally I'll always be available."
29 year old Thorn played the last of his eight Origin games in the third match of the 2000 series, a forgettable night for the Maroons.
The 56-16 defeat at Telstra Stadium ranks as Queensland's biggest Origin loss, but the memories of that bloodbath haven't swayed Thorn's loyalty to his adopted state.
And his commitment to the Queensland cause will be manna from heaven for state selectors.
The Maroons' forward depth was stretched to the limit last season in the absence of former captain Gorden Tallis.
"Rugby union was such a big challenge, so there was a lot of character building stuff to take from it," he said.
"I hope it brings me back a more rounded person."
Thorn's first job is to regain his spot in the Brisbane pack.
The former All Black departed the Broncos as a key member of the Brisbane side and returns enthused by the prospect of playing alongside the club's new breed of stars.
"It's an exciting time to be here and I just hope I can fulfill my end of the bargain by playing some good football," he said.
"I'm looking forward to playing with them, but I have to get to know them first.
"I really immersed myself in rugby when I made the switch.
"I did watch the odd game here and there, but even then I was really taking notice of guys like Locky (Darren Lockyer) and Webby (Shane Webcke), who I played with previously.
"I wasn't taking any special notice of the younger guys although its obvious to me there is a very talented bunch of guys coming through here."
Thorn, who also played three tests for Australia before switching his allegiance to the All Blacks, is hoping his rugby union experience will add another dimension to his game.
"Perhaps five metres out you might see a big surge from the scrum but seriously the games are very different," he said.
"I had to learn a lot in terms of scrimmaging, line-out, rucks and mauls.
"Even the ball-running is different. In rugby you have to be so aware of where your support is, you can't just tuck the ball under your arm and run like you can in league."
And where does he expect to slot into the Broncos' all-star pack?
"I'll play whatever role I'm told - second row or up front," he said.