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Former Leinster and All Black star Brad Thorn lands new head coach position

Brad Thorn won a Heineken Cup with Leinster in 2012 less than a year after winning the Rugby World Cup with New Zealand.

Image: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

THE QUEENSLAND REDS have appointed former Leinster and All Black star Brad Thorn as their new head coach, following the dismissal of Nick Stiles after just one year in charge.

Stiles guided the Reds to just four wins in his first season at the helm and reportedly had a rocky relationship with fellow coaches and other officials.

“Queensland Rugby Union was disappointed with the performance of the Reds in 2017 and we believe we require a catalyst for change in culture, discipline and standards,” said QRU chief executive Richard Barker.

It is a meteoric rise for Thorn, a former World Cup-winning All Black and Canterbury Crusaders lock who first made a name for himself in rugby league, spending seven seasons with the Brisbane Broncos.

He only retired from playing in 2015 aged 40 as one of the most respected figures in both league and union.

Prior to that, the former lock won a Heineken Cup with Leinster in 2012, less than a year after winning the Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks in his native New Zealand.

“Brad has a proven track record of success as both a player and a coach,” said Barker.

“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 once again.”

Thorn, capped 59 times by the All Blacks, has already experienced success as a mentor, guiding the Queensland U20s to two Super U20 Championship titles as an assistant coach in 2016 and as head coach to an undefeated season in 2017.

“I believe actions speak louder than words,” he said, adding that he was humbled to be given an opportunity to lead the Reds after his time with the junior sides.

“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.”

© AFP 2017

Additional reporting by Sinéad Farrell.

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