The Queensland Reds are hoping to lock down former All Black Brad Thorn to a 10-year contract as head coach.
Thorn took charge of Queensland’s ailing Super Rugby team this year and hasn’t been able to turn their fortunes around in the Australian conference.
The Reds lost 39-16 to the Blues last Friday at Eden Park – their 10th defeat from 14 matches in 2018 – but Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) chairman Jeff Miller wants Thorn as head coach for the long haul, providing they can receive a better alignment with Rugby Australia (RA).
“We want Brad Thorn as a 10-year head coach but it’s up to us to create the right high-performance environment for him to want to,” Miller told Brisbane’s Courier Mail.
“We are very supportive of Brad and the cultural change he has brought to the squad with some tough decisions. Having a team show strong levels of commitment and pride, as it has done, was a large part of his signing last year.
“It’s disappointing the Reds offer so much yet have been up or down and the QRU wants to provide the right support to be consistently better.”
The Reds were Super Rugby champions in 2011 but haven’t made the finals since 2013.
Thorn, a 59-test All Black and former Queensland and Kangaroos representative, has a huge task to bring success back to Suncorp Stadium as Miller and the QRU work on improving their relationship with RA.
Miller recently invited Ireland’s high-performance chief David Nucifora to address the QRU board and Scotland’s director of rugby Scott Johnson is doing the same this week.
“You look at New Zealand, Ireland and Scotland and there are very successful alignments between the national and provincial levels for the benefit of both,” Miller added.
“One thing Nucifora said was ‘don’t be afraid of strong alignment’.
“If we keep doing things the same way, we are going to get the same results so we are trying to understand what models are successful for long-term sustainability and the pitfalls.