2011 Rugby World Cup winner visits Malta

2011 Rugby World Cup winner Brad Thorn who plays for New Zealand All Blacks has been in Malta over the last few weeks.

Brad Thorn proudly wearing the Malta Rugby National team jersey
Brad Thorn proudly wearing the Malta Rugby National team jersey

By Bryan Corlett

At 37 Brad Thorn was one of the senior All Blacks that lifted the trophy after defeating France in last Novembers' final.
He has played continuously for the past two years, going on to play in Japan for Fukuoka Sanix Blues after the World Cup and then was contracted to play for Leinster in Ireland, who then won the Heineken Cup, making them the top Rugby Club in Europe.
He is in Malta visiting his wife Mary-Anne's relatives, her Mother was from Zejtun, but she immigrated to Australia, they were accompanied by their three sons and one daughter.

While here, Brad took a group of young Rugby enthusiasts for a 3 hour Coaching session, down on the Rugby fields in Marsa.
He had time for everyone, shaking hands with all the boys and their parents and taking photographs with everyone there. He was the last to leave the field at 10pm, praising the spirit of the young players, saying that this visit to Malta was just what he needed, before he returns to play in Japan.
An exceptional Ambassador for the game of Rugby. He was presented with a Maltese Rugby jersey and he said that now he is an Ambassador for Maltese Rugby and the nation.

All Blacks Coach Graham Henry said Thorn was "one of a kind, a special man and a special All Black."

"He is a tower of strength to the All Blacks and New Zealand rugby and is the ultimate professional - professionalism which has been honed over 17 years of top-level Rugby.  On the field he has a hard edge, both physically and mentally, and he gives his all to his team-mates. Off field, he unobtrusively ensures others are progressing well. He is an inspiration," Henry said

"On behalf of the All Blacks, I congratulate him on what he has achieved - and will continue to achieve - for Crusaders and All Blacks rugby.  The remarkable thing is at 37 years young he is still improving and, knowing Brad, he will continue to improve. He will go to Japan next year with our very best wishes," Henry added.

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#20 in the world in such a short time- and having a class rugger like Brad give his time coaching the kids; icing on the cake.