The Rugby World Cup 2011 has several Christians involved including the inspirational Brad Thorn who is in the engine room of the All Blacks forward pack. Sunday night will be his last match of rugby for the All Blacks before he heads to cause some havoc on the rugby fields in Japan. He has had such an amazing career in both rugby league and rugby and is a committed Christian.
Thorn hits the gym hard these days and does heaps of stretching daily in order to avoid injuries. He is an inspiration to someone who is also a Christian in sport, but also keeps performing well into his 30s. When I typed Thorn's name into Google I realised how much information there is about Brad Thorn's faith. He is a Christian and it is always inspiring to hear the story of top level athletes. It is also brilliant to hear that his conversion can from questioning why in the seedy world of top level rugby league with all the money, girls, alcohol that come with stardom, team mate and Christian Jason Stevens remained humble. Brad Thorn noticed this and after a few discussions gave his life to the Lord. That should be inspiration there for Christians in Sport to behave in a way befitting of your Christian faith and values because you never know who notices.
This is from an article from 2008.
Then, on a tour to Great Britain in 1997-98 and with the help of Jason Stevens, a fellow Kangaroos front-row forward, he saw the light. “Jason stood out from the rest of the team,” Thorn said. “On tour we would cut loose and he didn't. I talked to him quite a bit. When you are in a group, everyone says you are weak to not go on the beers, weak if you haven't slept with a woman. It's the opposite. Character is involved.
“I do feel now I have purpose, believe there is a God that loves me. I want be a good father and husband and in a footy context give my best.”
He draws inspiration, too, from the God-fearing Polynesians in the squad. “What's great about the Islanders is they haven't forgotten about God while Western society has. Before I play I say a simple prayer, honouring God through the way I play, 100 per cent aggression and physicality but showing respect to your opponent afterwards whether I win or lose,” Thorn, who went six years without a drink but now has the occasional beer, said. “I am very clear that I am not perfect and I never will be.”