Thorn to take reins at Queensland Reds after Stiles sacking
WORLD Cup-winning All Black Brad Thorn has been appointed the Reds' new Super Rugby coach after the sacking of Nick Stiles was confirmed on Thursday.
He will be supported in the role by recently appointed assistant coach Tony McGahan, who will look after the team's defence, with the rest of the coaching staff yet to be confirmed.
"I want to acknowledge that Nick has given a lot of his life to the QRU as a player, staff member and a coach and we are grateful for the immense contribution he has made," said Queensland Rugby chief executive Richard Barker.
"Queensland Rugby Union was disappointed with the performance of the Queensland Reds in 2017 and we believe we require a catalyst for change in culture, discipline and standards.
"We feel strongly that Brad Thorn is the right person to lead this change and that his appointment as head coach is the necessary catalyst for that change.
"Brad has a proven track record of success as both a player and a coach.
"He is without peer when it comes to the culture and professionalism required to be successful at the highest level of our sport and he is enthusiastic about moving the Reds forward and creating a winning culture at Ballymore once again."
Thorn, 42, was an assistant to Stiles in 2017 as the Reds won just four games.
The dual code legend coached Queensland's under-20s to an undefeated season this year.
He is also the head coach of Queensland Country, who are top of the National Rugby Championship ladder with four rounds to play.
"I believe actions speak louder than words," Thorn said.
"I've been grateful for the opportunity to spend the last two years at Ballymore coaching the Queensland under-20s, Queensland Country and the Reds.
"I feel I'm contributing to a change in culture and standards in those teams and I look forward to continuing to contribute to this organisation and the success of the Reds."
Thorn will be supported by McGahan, who joined the Reds in September to add a decade of experience to the coaching ranks.
McGahan was head coach of the Rebels in 2017 but stepped down after the Melbourne club finished last on the ladder.
Thorn will continue his role with Queensland Country before officially starting his new role with the Reds when pre-season training for the 2018 Super Rugby season begins in late November.