Brad Thorn's Bledisloe Cup allegiances have shifted, with the All Blacks great declaring his support for the Wallabies in Saturday's Test at Suncorp Stadium.
Thorn played 59 Tests for New Zealand but also represented Australia in rugby league in his storied dual-code career. His split loyalties have been further tested with his appointment as Queensland Reds coach -- meaning he now has a direct hand in preparing his old trans-Tasman enemies for battle.
With the All Blacks training in Brisbane this week, Thorn caught up with his former Highlanders teammate Kane Hames on Wednesday night but told reporters the next morning he wanted the Wallabies to win.
"I wish (the All Blacks) well but I'm also wishing the Wallabies well too. It'd be good to see the Wallabies get a win," Thorn said. "I went down there earlier in the year, they were working hard. It's a good young group coming through and you've seen them improve with each outing.
"There was a game there for them to have in Dunedin last time but it starts again, they've got to front again. If they have enough belief, care about each other enough (and) they play some good footy, they're in with as good as a chance as the All Blacks."
Thorn never knew what it was like to lose the Bledisloe Cup, having started his Test career in 2003 -- the year New Zealand's 15-year unbeaten streak began. He ranked it as the second-most important trophy in the game, behind only the World Cup.
"I remember talking to Dan Carter about that, we were ranking that sort of stuff," he said. "It's good to win the Rugby Championship -- I think that's what it's called still -- but the Bledisloe, there's something special about tucking that away.
"You saw the Irish beat the All Blacks in Chicago, you saw the (Richmond) Tigers in the AFL hadn't won a grand final (for 37 years).
"When a Wallaby team gets that shield back at some stage -- and they definitely will -- that will be a great moment. It's a pretty cool feeling when you raise that cup up and sip some lemonade or whatever out of it."