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Monday, 5 November, 2001, 00:06 GMT
Thorn pulls out of All Blacks squad
Bard Thorn in training for the Brisbane Broncos
Thorn used to play for league's Brisbane Broncos
Rugby league convert Brad Thorn has pulled out of the All Black squad to tour Ireland, Scotland and Argentina.

The big lock said he made the decision because he is unsure whether his commitment to the 15-man game will last.

Thorn has been replaced by the versatile Dion Waller, who will fly out with the New Zealand squad on Wednesday.

The Dunedin-born star was a controversial selection by new All Black coach John Mitchell when he was named in the 30-man touring team.

He formerly plied his trade with rugby league's Brisbane Broncos in Australia.

He deserves credit for making what must have been a tough decision
Andrew Martin
All Blacks manager
But returned to New Zealand at the end of the last Australian league season and was immediately drafted into the Canterbury Crusaders' Super 12 side.

However, he failed to make an impact with the Crusaders or with the Canterbury national provincial championship team.

Thorn told New Zealand boss Andrew Martin he could not accept an All Black jersey because was not sure whether he would be playing rugby union next year.

"On that basis, Thorn thought it would be wrong to tour with the All Blacks," Martin said.

"Thorn says it has long been a dream of his to play for the All Blacks and that was the reason he came back to New Zealand.

"His action in declining a place in the touring squad shows just how much he values the All Black jersey."

See also:

04 Nov 01 |  Rugby Union
All Blacks dump Cullen and Wilson
03 Nov 01 |  Rugby Union
Canterbury claim NPC title
01 Nov 01 |  Rugby Union
Pumas poised for action
01 Nov 01 |  Rugby Union
Lomu commits to Wellington
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