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Tigers to add Thorn to their side

AFP

New Zealand All Blacks lock Brad Thorn reacts after the 2011 Rugby World Cup final match New Zealand vs France at Eden Park Stadium in Auckland on October 23, 2011New Zealand All Blacks lock Brad Thorn reacts after the 2011 Rugby World Cup final match New Zealand vs France at Eden Park Stadium in Auckland on October 23, 2011

New Zealand All Blacks lock Brad Thorn reacts after the 2011 Rugby World Cup final match New Zealand vs France at Eden Park Stadium in Auckland on October 23, 2011New Zealand All Blacks lock Brad Thorn reacts after the 2011 Rugby World Cup final match New Zealand vs France at Eden Park Stadium in Auckland on October 23, 2011

Veteran World Cup-winning New Zealand lock Brad Thorn will play for English Premiership giants Leicester Tigers, the club's director of rugby Richard Cockerill announced on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old -- the first player in rugby history to win the World Cup (2011), a Super Rugby title (2008 with Crusaders) and the European Cup (2012 with Leinster) -- will be able to play for his new club by the end of September, according to Cockerill.

Thorn, capped 59 times since making his debut in 2003, made his mark initially in rugby league with Australian side Brisbane Broncos and won the Australian NRL title with them in 2000 and turned out for Australia, playing all three tests against his native New Zealand in 1998.

"Brad Thorn will arrive in the next month or so and will be available to play for us by the end of September," Cockerill said.

"He is 39 years old but he wants to play for another season.

"I had a long discussion with him about what he wants to do and he wants to play in the Premiership. He wants to come here and test himself.

"That says a lot about him at this stage in his career, after all he has achieved, and the circumstances have created an opportunity for him here.

"We look forward to seeing him and bringing that experience into the squad."

While Thorn joins from the Dunedin-based Highlanders, Leicester are set to lose Australian forward Steve Mafi.

Mafi, who can play lock or flanker, is ready to link up with Perth-based Western Force, although it is understood that a few minor details surrounding his move have still to be finalised.

Date created : 2014-08-19