Leinster have signed New Zealand World Cup winner Brad Thorn on a three-month contract.
Kiwi second row Thorn has arrived at the Dublin-based club on temporary loan from Japanese club Fukuoka Sanix Blues where he has been playing since helping the All Blacks win their second world title in October.
Thorn played over 200 times for the Brisbane Broncos in two spells playing Rugby League (between 1994-2000 and 2005-07) where he won NRL Grand Final titles and also featured in the State of Origin series (in 1999, 2000 and later in 2005).
He became a dual rugby-code international - only the second man in history, after Bill Hardcastle, to have represented Australia in league and New Zealand in union – and in 2004 Thorn won the NPC title with Canterbury.
Leinster coach Joe Schmidt said: “It’s great to have Brad to help us through until the end of the season.
“After Leo’s (Cullen) injury and Steven Sykes’ return to South Africa, we were short of options at second row, but Brad’s arrival will supplement the likes of Damian Browne, Devin Toner and Mark Flanagan, as we look ahead to a demanding few months.
“Obviously Brad won’t have a lot of time to find his feet, but I know the quality he brings and how keen he is to make a contribution both on and off the field.”