Thorn, speaking on Triple M Brisbane in his first interview since the drama started, said talk of a rift was incorrect.
“I spoke to Izack, he came around to my house on Saturday,” Thorn said. “It’s been hard for me. I’ve seen in the media that [our relationship] is irreparable and we don’t get on. I’ve never had a problem with Izack and we’ve never had an argument.
“He came around to my house and wanted to make it clear that stuff that was out there is not how he feels. These are the things that are frustrating. Your name is there all of a sudden.
“With Izack, he’s a guy you care about a lot. He’s come here from a young age and I even played next to him for a couple of games … Obviously he lost his father, I lost my dad at 19. We’ve had a lot of personal chats.”
The World Cup-winning All Black said he could not comprehend why the three players wanted to leave, having been invested so heavily in the Reds.
Rodda had his four-year Rugby Australia contract ripped up, while Lucas and Hockings, on contract with the Reds, have been told there is little likelihood they will be welcomed back.
All three are managed by Anthony Picone, who has helped a number of Reds players secure deals in Japan.
“I was like, ‘I don’t want you to go. What is doing? Do not do this’,” Thorn said. “‘We care about you and you’ve been part of this thing. This isn’t the right way of doing stuff’.
“I know others spoke to them as well. They’re young men and they have to make decisions. You haven’t really heard from the three lads, so that’s something for them to think about.
“It’s not the end of the world is it. These things happen from time to time and you wish those guys well in what they do.
“It has been frustrating but you’ve just got to move on. There’s a lot of lads here who are cracking on and ripping in and they want to achieve some stuff. You heard the captain [Liam Wright] speak. He was outstanding. I feel likewise and it’s about us moving forward.”
Tom Decent is a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald