Ireland tour to New Zealand
Thorn tips Ireland to trouble All Blacks
ESPN Staff
May 17, 2012
All Blacks lock Brad Thorn enjoys a joke with the media, New Zealand press conference, Rugby World Cup, Auckland, New Zealand, October 17, 2011
Leinster's Brad Thorn will be an interested spectator when the All Blacks play Ireland in three Tests in June © Getty Images
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All Blacks World Cup winner Brad Thorn has only been playing in the country for a matter of months, but he has already seen enough to believe that Ireland can cause New Zealand problems on their tour down under in June.

Ireland have never beaten the All Blacks in the Test arena, with their best ever result a 10-10 draw in 1973. Having seen at first-hand what Irish players are capable of though, Thorn believes that Declan Kidney's side only need to get their mindset right to end that unenviable streak.

"I look at that Leinster backline." Thorn told "I look at some of those guys in the Leinster pack, Cian Healy, Sean O'Brien and all these different guys. There's some real talent out there and if Ireland went out as a team and believed in themselves against the All Blacks, you'd think there's a good chance of doing something."

Thorn joined Leinster after a short stint in Japan with Fukuoka Sanix Blues and is now in line to become only the third player after Rod Kafer and Doug Howlett to win both Super Rugby and Heineken Cup titles. At 37 years, three months and 16 days, he would also overtake Leicester's Darren Garforth as the eldest player to win European club rugby's premier trophy.

Moreover a win at Twickenham would give him another medal to add to his glittering collection that was topped with the World Cup win last year. He has also won three Tri-Nations titles in 2003, 2008 and 2010 and three championships during his time with Brisbane Broncos in Australia's National Rugby League.

"I just love my footie. I like being here, the challenge of it and being part of a Heineken Cup," said Thorn. "Leinster are a great side with a great coaching team in Joe Schmidt, Greg Feek and Jono Gibbes. Being in the Heineken Cup final is juicy, but basically there's a brick wall between us and the cup, in Ulster."

Ireland play Tests against New Zealand in Auckland on June 9, Christchurch on June 16 and Hamilton on June 23.

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