Highlanders rule out Thorn return

Date published: June 9 2015

The Highlanders have dismissed speculation that former All Black Brad Thorn is set to make a shock return to ease their second row problems.

The Dunedin-based franchise lost their starting locks Tom Franklin (bicep) and Alex Ainley (knee) to injury in last weekend's 56-20 defeat to the Hurricanes in Napier.

They join fellow locks Joe Wheeler and Mark Reddish who are also on the injured list.

With the depletion of the Highlanders' locking stocks fuelled a rumour that 40-year-old Thorn would come out of retirement to play for his former side in their final league match of the season against the Blues in Auckland on Friday.

But the Highlanders general manager Roger Clark said they did not consider that option.

"It's not going to happen," he told Fairfax Media.

The Highlanders wider-training squad member Joe Latta, who came off the bench against the Hurricanes, and young Otago lock Jackson Hemopo are options against the Blues.

Experienced loose forward Elliot Dixon has also had some game-time at lock this season and could also be a possible starter in the second row this weekend.