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Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks back-rower Adam Thomson will join the St.George Queensland Reds after committing to the club for the 2015 season.
Thomson made his All Blacks debut in 2008 and earned 29 caps, including two in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He scored six tries for New Zealand.
He made his Super Rugby debut in 2006 for the Highlanders and went on to play 68 games for the club, scoring 21 tries.
Thomson has played in Japan for the last two seasons after making the move to Japanese Top League side Canon Eagles in 2013, following seven seasons of Super Rugby. His strong form has continued in Japan, where he has been one of his club's best players and is currently the league-leading try scorer in the 2014-15 season.
At 196cm and 112kg and capable of playing all three back row positions, Thomson will add further experience and class to the Reds' squad.
Reds head coach Richard Graham said Thomson's signing would provide further experience to the pack and leadership for the young back rowers in the squad, including up-and-comers Curtis Browning and Lolo Fakaosilea.
“It was evident Adam is still genuinely craving the competitive nature of Super Rugby. As an All Black and World Cup winner, his influence on the Super Rugby competition has been enormous. He was at the heart of everything the Highlanders did. His signing is another indication of the quality of player and person we want to bring to the Reds," Graham said.
“Adam rounds out a highly competitive back row and he brings an outstanding skill set to the way that we want to play the game. Along with Jake (Schatz) I believe Adam is one of the best aerial forwards in the modern game.”
“Whilst Adam will have a role as mentor to some of the younger players, his priority is to be the best player he can. He understands the greatest influence he can have on the group is through his performances and I can assure you he is excited by that challenge.”
Thomson will join the Reds at the conclusion of the Japanese Top League season. He becomes the 28th member of their 30-man full contract group, leaving two spots remaining in the 2015 squad.
This follows on from the announcement of the Reds squad for 2015 on Friday 29 August. For more on the Reds’ 2015 squad go to http://bit.ly/1suYTqN
For highlights of Adam Thomson go to http://bit.ly/1nbij3R
14 DECEMBER 2018