Veteran All Black lock Brad Thorn. Photo: Getty Images
Evergreen dual international Brad Thorn is reportedly set to write a final chapter in his remarkable playing career by returning to Super Rugby with New Zealand franchise the Highlanders.
The former All Blacks lock, who played for Brisbane, Queensland and Australia in rugby league, has been playing rugby union in Japan and Ireland since helping New Zealand win last year's Rugby World Cup.
But the Otago Daily Times reports Thorn, who will turn 38 in February, has met with Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph and is believed to have agreed to play for the Dunedin-based franchise next season.
Thorn previously played Super Rugby for the Crusaders between 2001 and 2011, before returning to rugby league for a second stint with the Brisbane Broncos from 2005 to 2007.
However a move to the Highlanders would be a fitting career finale for Thorn, who was born in Mosgiel just outside Dunedin where the team is based.
He would add experience and steel to a Highlanders forward pack that already includes new signing All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock and All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore.
Thorn left for Japan last year on a two-year deal to play for the Fukuoka Sanix Blues and that deal is due to expire in late February, paving his way to play in Super Rugby.
Earlier this year, he signed a three-month contract with Irish club Leinster and helped them to win Europe's Heineken Cup.
It added another honour to Thorn's long list, having tasted success at virtually every level in both codes.