Former All Blacks lock Brad Thorn is set to make his comeback after being named as a replacement for Queensland Country in their National Rugby Championship clash with the Western Sydney Rams on Saturday.
The match, to be played at Sydney’s Concord Oval, will be the 2011 Rugby World Cup winner's first in the NRC, after being named in a coach/player role ahead of the season.
While the 41-year-old comes into the side, Country will be without regular openside flanker Conor Mitchell, after becoming the newest member of the Australian Men’s Sevens Squad.
Mitchell will make the move to Sydney to begin pre-season training ahead of the 2016/2017 World Sevens Series.
Queensland Country coach Toutai Kefu said: “It’s great to welcome a player of Brad Thorn’s calibre into the team. He has been excellent in his role as assistant coach and the players are all really looking forward to having the chance to play alongside him.
“While Brad comes into the side, we unfortunately lose Conor, but his selection in the Australian Sevens program is testament to his performances both in 2015 and 2016 for Country.
“The purpose of the NRC is to further develop players and provide them with opportunities at the highest levels and Conor is deserving of a chance to test himself at the next level having been one of our most consistent performers.”