James O’Connor has returned to the Wallabies’ flyhalf jersey for the side’s final Test of the year against Argentina this Saturday.
The coaching merry go round that has now become synonymous with the Queensland Reds has once again reared its ugly head, with Nick Stiles the latest to fall victim to the position which could be labelled as the ‘poisoned chalice’.
If what former coach Mark McBain has hinted at recently is true then player power is still alive and well, in fact it’s never been better at Ballymore.
With Brad Thorn set to become the 10th coach in the last 16 seasons what does that tell you about loyalty and staying strong?
Sure, Stiles’ record in 2017 wasn’t great, in fact it was the worst of any Queensland Reds coach so far with a 4-11 record and finishing 14th overall in the Super Rugby comp, but as is the case a lot of the time the coach is made the scapegoat while the players appear to get off with little or no accountability being taken.
There will be those who are quick to point out that coaching at the elite level in any sport is results-driven and if you don’t perform you’ll fall on your sword and pay the price. That’s fine if all of the players buy in to that and give the coach their full and unwavering support, did that happen at the Queensland Reds?
For the Queensland Rugby Union who are supposedly cash strapped to continue to sack coaches mid-term time after time is beyond belief. Now they’ll have to fork out another substantial amount of money with Stiles contracted to the Queensland Reds until the end of the 2018 season.
Brad Thorn will be under the spotlight and he may very well succeed with his tough uncompromising nature and respect that he had as a player sure to rub off on his players in his new role as Coach of the Queensland Reds.
With an outstanding and distinguished career in both rugby union and rugby league, Thorn achieved major success at the highest level so he enters the coaching fold with impeccable credentials as a player. However, that doesn’t guarantee that he’ll be able to replicate that success as at the elite level.
As well as Queensland Country are performing at the moment, it’s a quantum leap from coaching in the National Rugby Championship.
You can only imagine the pressure that Thorn will be under next season, fully aware that if the Queensland Reds don’t perform his career as a coach may be short lived.
I feel the Queensland Rugby Union will persevere with Thorn if what has been reported is true in that the Australian Rugby Union are impressed with Thorn and that his credentials.
It does seem to have some credence when you consider how Thorn has been seemingly fast-tracked through the system to become the coach of a Super Rugby rugby team in a very short amount of time.
It can only be hoped that Thorn’s tenure as coach of the Queensland Reds will be long and successful and act as a pathway to one day possibly becoming the coach of the Wallabies. Now wouldn’t that be ironic?