Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World
NZ NZ
Back

Brad Thorn's parting message to lock Salakaia-Loto ahead of Premiership move

By AAP
Australia’s Lukhan Tui

Trending on RugbyPass

More News More News

Brad Thorn will miss the skills and soft touch of Lukhan Salakaia-Loto at the Queensland Reds but doesn’t begrudge his impending exit to the English Premiership.

ADVERTISEMENT

The versatile lock, who has played for Australia in the second and backrow, will link with Northampton next season after seven years at Ballymore.

The 25-year-old is one of the Reds’ most valuable men and biggest earners, but had slipped down the Wallabies pecking order ahead of the final year of his contract.

Video Spacer

Aotearoa Rugby Pod | Episode 2
Video Spacer
Aotearoa Rugby Pod | Episode 2

Unable to crack the Test squad again after leaving for the birth of his child ahead of the third Bledisloe Cup match last year, the lucrative European move was the obvious play.

Thorn was understanding but dismayed as he attempts to build a side that can compete with the might of New Zealand’s world-leading domestic sides.

“I’d like him to stay here, he’s been here seven seasons … a wonderful guy I coached in under-20s and I’ve known since he was 19,” he said.

“But it’s an opportunity for him and his family and we wish him well when he goes.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He’s got some work to do here, but (any attempts to keep him in Australia are) in RA’s hands, really.

“It means a lot to him to wear the jersey; he’s worn it well for 64-odd games, he’s a big part of our team, got a big heart, very caring guy.”

News of his departure comes ahead of Friday’s Super Rugby Pacific clash with the Waratahs.

The Reds will be without co-captain Liam Wright (shoulder) and centre Hunter Paisami (knee), while Thorn said flying winger Suliasi Vunivalu’s return from repeated hamstring strains could come within a month.

ADVERTISEMENT

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
ADVERTISEMENT
TRENDING
TRENDING What an overhauled Tonga team could look like at the Pacific Nations Cup What the new Tonga team could look like
Search