Brad Thorn agreed to terms last night for a three-year contract with the Brisbane Broncos, and will re-join his former club next season.
Thorn initially joined the Broncos from Brisbane Wests in 1994 and made 142 first grade appearances before leaving the club at the end of the 2000 premiership season, to pursue a career in Rugby Union. He went on to play 12 Tests for the All Blacks.
The 29 year-old giant � who stands 195cms and weighs 115 kg � won premierships with the Broncos in 1997, 1998 and 2000 before fulfilling a lifelong dream of playing for the All Blacks. However he now wants to return to the club that helped him kick off his professional football career.
�When he left to follow his All Blacks dream, Brad indicated that one day he wanted to return to the Broncos,� said Broncos managing director Bruno Cullen, who today announced the re-signing of Thorn.
�We originally spoke to Brad shortly after he missed out on selection in the All Blacks team and have had a couple of further discussions with him since, while he considered his options. However he was keen to play Test rugby again and wanted our discussions put on hold while their rep season was in progress.
�However over the weekend he decided to make the move and confirm his intention to come back to rugby league, and we are over the moon about having the big bloke in our ranks. Having previously discussed what might have been possible with the Broncos it didn�t take long to cement the deal.
Cullen said it was unfortunate that weekend media reports had carried a story about such a move being unlikely, but confirmed that at the time of interview those were the facts and in no way were meant to be misleading.
�I don�t make a habit of being deceptive, but hopefully people understand my predicament?� he said.
�The last thing the Broncos intended was to publicly express our interest in re-signing Brad, and then see him ostracised by the All Blacks selectors because he was considering a switch back to rugby league.
�However, now that the decision has been made everyone at the Broncos is very excited. Brad was admired and respected � both as a person and as a player � when he was previously with us, and his signing is a major coup for the club.
�The Broncos have a host of young forwards coming through our system and Brad�s guidance to them will be invaluable, as will his physical presence on the field.�
Brad Thorn has played three rugby league Test matches for Australia, five Super League Tests and eight State of Orgin matches for Queensland. He and his young family will return to Brisbane from Christchurch in time for pre-season training in November.
Mr Cullen emphasised that the signing of Brad Thorn would not impact on the future of Broncos captain, Gorden Tallis. �We had allowed space in the salary cap for Brad. Gorden�s future is a separate issue altogether,� he said.