Crusaders

Thorn in line for more All Black caps

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Crusaders assistant coach Mark Hammett feels that Brad Thorn is well on track for an All Blacks recall.


The Crusaders lock has been in great form for the Super 14 table leaders and due to the current shortage of world class locks in New Zealand at the moment, Thorn stands a good chance of getting recalled for the All Blacks.


With Chris Jack in England (ruled out for the season yesterday) and James Ryan and Ross Filipo injured, Hammett believes that Thorn could add to his 12 caps for the All Blacks even though he is 33,


“I’d suspect the All Blacks selectors are smiling from ear to ear in terms of Brad Thorn,” Hammett told Rugbyheaven.


“Brad has just been outstanding,” continued Hammett, a former All Blacks hooker, who believes Thorn’s second stint in league has made him a better player.


“He offers so much because he is a set piece specialist. There are not many who are better than him in that area,” Hammett explained.


“Then he adds the dimension of being able to run with the ball and he is also very often amongst our top defenders. So he is very valuable to us.


“He has come in from years of the NRL where it is week after week grind so he is knows how to do it. He has a great way with training.”


Thorn has settled into the Crusaders again and from his first match against the Brumbies this year it was evident that he was going to feature prominently under the new rules.


His fitness and stamina have been outstanding as has his partnership with former All Blacks team-mate Ali Williams.


The Crusaders pair have played a major part in their unbeaten start to the season.


“Ali has been fantastic for us,” says Hammett who is a former Blues man.


“He has taken on a real leadership role, not just around the team and the line-outs but also off the field as well. Whether it’s attitude or simply a bit of fun away from the game.”


“They are pretty good mates off [the field] and they have a competitive friendliness about them too,” said Hammett of the locks whose contrasting but complementary styles must have been noticed by the All Black coaches.

 

Super14.com   

 

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