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Reuben Thorne
Thorne in 2005
Birth nameReuben David Thorne
Date of birth (1975-01-02) 2 January 1975 (age 49)
Place of birthChristchurch, New Zealand
Height1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
Weight107 kg (16 st 12 lb)
SchoolNew Plymouth Boys' High School
UniversityLincoln University
Notable relative(s)Andrew Mehrtens (brother-in-law)[1]
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock, Flanker
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2008–2009 Yamaha Jubilo ()
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1996–2008 Canterbury 71 ()
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
1997–2008 Crusaders 129 (25)
International career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1999–2007 New Zealand 50 (25)

Reuben David Thorne (born 2 January 1975) is a New Zealand rugby union player, and former captain of the national team, the All Blacks. Now involved with Big Brother Big Sister and is the Christ College first xv coach

Professional career and the All Blacks

Super 12

Playing as a flanker, Thorne first appeared in the Super 12 with the Canterbury Crusaders in 1998. He became captain in 2002, immediately leading the Crusaders to Super 12 victory in an unprecedented "perfect" season—13 wins from 13 games. In 2003 and 2004 the Crusaders were runners-up in the Super 12 under his leadership.

Thorne was a rarity among All Blacks, especially captains, in that he never made an international appearance at any age-group level. He earned his first All Black cap in 1999, playing a single test against the Springboks before the 1999 Rugby Union World Cup. Taking over as captain from an injured Anton Oliver, he led the All Blacks throughout 2002 and 2003, apart from a brief tour of the UK and France in November 2002 which he missed due to a chronic ankle problem, causing former captain Taine Randell to be briefly recalled to the skipper's role. Although the team's record was excellent under Thorne's leadership (playing 22 test matches for 19 wins and 3 losses, and winning the Tri Nations Series both years and the Bledisloe Cup in 2003), his captaincy ended on a low note as the team was eliminated by the Wallabies in the semi-finals of the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup. Following the World Cup, Thorne was replaced as All Blacks captain by Tana Umaga.

Thorne appeared again for the All Blacks on the 2004 end of year tour, where he was an unused reserve against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and started as a lock against the Barbarians at Twickenham. He was called in as a replacement for Jono Gibbes, who was ruled out of the tour due to injury. His record as an All Black stands at 50 tests played (22 as captain) for 42 wins and 8 losses[verification needed], with 5 tries scored.

Super 14

On 28 May 2006 Thorne was named captain for the 2006 Junior All Blacks season [1], but the next day he withdrew from the squad to undertake "a recovery and reconditioning programme." [2] Thorne was a surprise selection for the All Blacks for the 2006 Tri Nations Series when it was named on 26 June 2006. On 22 July 2006, he played his first test for the All Blacks since the 2003 Rugby World Cup, against the same team he debuted against, the Springboks. He was then rested for the first half of the 2007 Super 14 season as part of the All Blacks reconditioning programme. He returned to play for the Crusaders that year, and was picked in the All Blacks squad for the 2007 Tri Nations Series and the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Although he did play in the 2007 World Cup he was not in the team for the All Blacks quarter-final loss to France. On 29 November 2007 Thorne announced that following the 2008 Super 14 season he left New Zealand to play for Yamaha Jubilo in Japan.[2] He currently plays for the Honda Heat.

Thorne was called into the Crusaders squad following numerous injuries for matches in South Africa in the 2011 Super 15. Thorne made his return on the bench against the Cheetahs.

See also


  1. ^ "Reuben Thorne marries Mehrtens' sister". The New Zealand Herald. 15 February 2003. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  2. ^ "Thorne headed to Japan". The New Zealand Herald. 30 November 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
Sporting positions Preceded byAnton Oliver All Blacks Captain 2002–2003 Succeeded byTana Umaga