Big bad Brad extends his stay at Reds
NEWS: The Queensland Rugby Union confirmed that Reds coach Brad Thorn will remain at Ballymore through 2020.
Thorn’s contract extension will see him lead a world-class Reds coaching team alongside assistant coaches Jim McKay (attack) and Peter Ryan (defence) into next year’s Super Rugby season.
QRU CEO David Hanham said: “We remain focused on our medium and long-term coaching strategies that are aimed at creating a strong Rugby program at Ballymore.
“Brad and his coaching team emphasise the importance of leadership, hard work and humility to the squad each day and we continue to be confident we will reap the rewards of this approach as this squad gains more Super Rugby experience.”
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “It’s an honour to coach Queensland. The club is headed in a good direction and I want to continue being a part of that.
“We’ve got a good group of humble and hard-working men. We’re all here to support one another and put in for each other. We have an established coaching group here now too, with Jim McKay, Peter Ryan, Cameron Lillicrap [scrum coach/physiotherapist], Dave Alred [Kicking Coach] and Brynley Abad [Strength and Conditioning head coach] all on board.
“Our focus remains on growing our game and improving as a group every week. There’ll be obstacles in front of us, but we’ve established a good Rugby program and will build on it moving forward,” said Thorn.
The 44 year-old is currently in his second year as Reds head coach after more than two decades of unparalleled success at the elite level as a player.
Thorn is only one-of-four players in history to win a Super Rugby and NRL title after securing premierships with the Canterbury Crusaders and Brisbane Broncos. He has represented both Australia and Queensland in Rugby League and has won a Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks. Following his successful stint with Leinster in the UK, Thorn became the first player to win a Heineken Cup, Rugby World Cup and Super Rugby title.
Following his playing retirement, Thorn joined the QRU in late 2015 as Queensland Elite Development Squad forwards coach and has been at the QRU for the duration of his coaching career.
Thorn guided the Queensland Under-20 to two Super U20 Championship titles as an assistant coach in 2016 and as head coach to an undefeated season in 2017.
He was also assistant coach of Bond University Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) in 2016 and then head coach the following year when Country claimed the title.
Thorn is currently in South Africa preparing Queensland for this weekend’s match against the Bulls in Pretoria, before facing the Sharks in Durban the following week.
The Reds return home in Round 12 as they host the Sunwolves at Suncorp Stadium on Friday May 3.