According to The Courier-Mail, Brad Thorn is on the radar of the Kiwis as a coaching prospect, so if the Queensland Reds want to prevent his bolting, they will need to offer Thorn tenure, sooner rather than later.
Some thought it foolhardy to put the Reds in Thorn’s hands, as they would have preferred someone with coaching credentials, rather than the rookie coach Thorn represented. The Reds had been underperforming, so it was thought that a veteran coach with the experience of turning teams around was the prescription of the Reds.
Thorn has the team off to their best Super Rugby start since 2013 and a recent come-from-behind 27 – 22 upset win over the Lions recently means that the Reds will not play meaningless games for the remainder of the season.
The Reds have turned over eight coaches since 2001, so in that part of the country, “job security” is a theoretical phrase when used in context with “rugby coach.”
The Reds currently hold a 4 – 5 record in the 2018 Super Rugby League competition and when they played a New Zealand side, the result was a disappointing 24-point loss.
New Zealand has a hands off approach to non-Kiwi players, but that taboo does not apply to coaches.
“We don’t know who’s going to own Thorny, whether he’s an Australian or a Kiwi (as a coach), but it’s great he’s put competitiveness back in the franchise,” All Blacks great John Kirwan said.
Thorn is signed with the Reds through this season and next.
He sounded rather noncommittal about staying in Queensland, saying, “I can’t really afford to think about Australian rugby,” Thorn said.“I’ve got a job here at Queensland and I’ve just got this wonderful group of young men and a really good staff.We’re pretty passionate about Queensland and we want to do some stuff.”
It is good to have a coach that wants to do “stuff,” although we wish Thorn could have been a little more specific, as “stuff” could be interpreted to mean just about anything.