GaGR's Big Questions: Is The QRU Coaching Merry-Go-Round Continuing? - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

GaGR’s Big Questions: Is The QRU Coaching Merry-Go-Round Continuing?

GaGR’s Big Questions: Is The QRU Coaching Merry-Go-Round Continuing?

Here’s a quick quiz for all my fellow Reds tragics. How many head coaches have there been at Ballymore since 1997? Ten! that’s 10!

  • John Connolly (1989–2000)
  • Mark McBain (2001–02)
  • Andrew Slack (2003)
  • Jeff Miller (2004–06)
  • Eddie Jones (2007)
  • Phil Mooney (2008–09)
  • Ewen McKenzie (2010–13)
  • Richard Graham (2014–16)
  • Matt O’Connor & Nick Stiles (2016)
  • Nick Stiles (2016–)

Nick Stiles for the Reds 2017

Knuckles and Link account for eight of those years so the other eight coaches only lasted a year and a half each! So why am I surprised to hear that the rumours of another coaching change? Actually, I was surprised but after a few minutes, I guess I could see the reasoning behind it.

The Reds haven’t had what you could call a winning season since 2012-13, crowd numbers have fallen steadily to a low of around 15000 die hards in 2017. Things must surely be getting tight at Reds HQ. You can add payouts to Richard Graham and John Connolly to the list of unfathomable money draining mistakes management has made and things are looking grim.

The rumour mill has been running hot with talk of Brad Thorn taking over a head coach with Tony McGahan (former Rebels head coach) and Phill Mooney (former Reds Head coach) as his assistants. Brad Thorn as a player is a legend, but this would be his major head coaching role. He would have two very experienced assistants but I have to wonder what might have happened to Nick Stiles 2017 season in charge if he’d had these two in his rookie head coach season instead of the three green assistants the Reds gave him?

QLDC Brad Thorn in the line out RQC1666 - Karen Watson

So what are the fors and againsts of a coaching change for 2018?


  • Nick Stiles has a low winning percentage. If you only count 2017 as his head coaching gig it’s 26.6%. Add in his co-head coaching gigs at the Force and the Reds and it drops to 22.2% The lowest of any Super Rugby coach ever.
  • Brad Thorn is the future. I think Brad Thorn will end up being an exceptional coach.
  • Experienced assistant coaches


  • Nick Stiles has a contract that would have to be paid out stretching the Reds finances even further.
  • Brad Thorn has no experience as a head coach
  • Nick Stiles hasn’t been given a fair go? Is one year with inexperienced assistants enough?

So many ifs

  • If this happens can Thorn do the job?
  • If Stiles loses the top job would he stick around and run the set piece?
  • If Totally Tony had an assistants gig would he be happy to stay there?
  • If Thorn is the head coach Who would look after S&C after their departure en masse last season?
  • If this doesn’t work will the Reds stick or move? And would they still have a choice?

What’s your take on the Reds Coaches? Should Stiles be given another chance or should the Reds go for an untried head coach?

McGahan - coached by Thompson

McGahan – coached by Thompson

  • Gottsy

    Would be a shame to see Nick Stiles be given the punt so early on. He hasn’t had a great run so far, but to be fair, he hasn’t really been given much of a chance. He inhereted a bit of a mess, and the merry go round of players going in and out is never helpful for a team. Even though they brought in a handful of older players, there was very much a youth policy this year, and some of those selections are starting to pay dividends. We played some good games, being within a score of beating the crusaders and blues, but had some shockers too.
    What I don’t like about Stiles is name-checking his players when they didn’t play well. Get your systems right and those things will take care of themselves. The players seem to have a great deal of respect for thorn, and he seems like a savvy operator, but time will tell. Qld country are looking good under his guidance, but lets not forget that Stiles took bne city to two consecutive nrc titles

    • SuckerForRed

      Agreed Gottsy. Although I am sure that Thorn will someday somewhere be head coach, I am not entirely sure he would be an improvement over Stiles at this point.

      What worries me is that this discussion may just indicate another mid-season change which will be good for noone.

      • Gottsy

        For sure. I hope thorn stays, his influence can only be a good thing. I think having him and mcgahan there next year will help, as it seems Stiles might have underestimated just what sort of support staff he was going to need. Time will tell, but for now I’m being cautiously optimistic!

      • Brisneyland Local

        SFR, I am so saddened becuase this is the first time I will disagree with you and I am heartbroken! ;-)
        I personally think that other than re-appouinting Woody Graham most things would be a step up. appointing some one like Thorn will be a god send. My nephew used to be a member of the Reds squad, and he said all the players feared contract training because Thorn was out there with them. He would punish them and push them in the gym. They looked to him for guidance and advice. Because he has been there and done it. everyone knows his record. everyone knows his leadership credentials, and they all know he walks thw walk as well as talks the talk. His examples are set as the bench mark.
        In short, he know what right Looks like!

        • SuckerForRed

          I know BL. I was a little disappointed as well. Not least because this proved to me that you are not just my other personality contributing under another alias so I therefore can’t claim your deep insights as my own any more.

          I don’t entirely disagree with you about Thorny & the knowledge, leadership, experience & just plain pain he brings to the squad. I would be very disappointed if he was to leave. But I just don’t think that he is “there”, as in head coach,l yet). Give him a couple of more years where he doesn’t have that stress & responsibility to learn his craft and I will happily give you a hand moving his stuff into the office. This discussion I think is a symptom of a problem with Australian Rugby as a whole. A new talent bursts onto the scene (player/coach/admin), they are promoted beyond their current abilities with little support/mentoring/training/coaching, they are then discarded because they can’t “step-up”, and then we all wonder why we don’t have depth and experience in the ranks. (Of course there are some exceptions.)

          Having said all that, I do wonder what would be worse for his development – being thrown in the deep-end, or working alongside less than competent individuals that may get the knives out because they feel threatened? (Talking all coaching and admin here).

        • Brisneyland Local

          See the world is all normal again because we are in agreement. Unfortunately the Reds cant have another one or two seasons of bad! The fan base is deserting. to be honest I genuinely dont think I will renew my family membership and corporate box for next year. They suck too much to watch. It is not the players, it is the game plan, and how they are being taught to execute it.
          Then on the other hand if we dont appoint Thorn, we are more than likely to lose him, as other sides arent as stupid as we are and will snap him up.

          You are completely right about this being syptomatic of the broader Australian rugby malaise!
          I think the difference is Thorn he been part of a big and broader set up, knows what it looks like. He will have lots of mentors across the “Dutch” read ditch, that will be assisting him.
          I am putting my money on thiorn. So much so that I am prepared to renew my membership if they appoint him. Hows that for putting your money where your mouth is!
          And finally SFR, you can claim my utterances as deep thoughts and badge them as your own anytime you like. But buyer beware! The roduct can be variable depending on what mood I am in, how many overseas flights I have had in the last month, and more pertinantly how many Barossa Shiraz’s I have thrown down range!

        • SuckerForRed

          If you around between 11 & 13/14th of Oct we must have a few of those Barossa Shiraz’s and compare notes.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Will be in Bris wed 11 and 12, Rockhampton 13, Bris 14-15, then overseas 16-19. The merry life of a jetsetter I am afraid. But yes some overlap. Let me know!

        • Alister Smith

          I think Thorn will become a great coach…but maybe at some stage down the track. He has been part of a lot of the most successful rugby and league organisations and has been coached by some of the greatest coaches. By all accounts he is both tough and hard but also inspirational, players seem to respond to him. However…the Queensland Country side is his first head coaching job. There are other coaches in Queensland like Mick Heenan who have had local success over many years but are only being given their first run at higher honours. The coaching team with Stiles, Thorn, McGahan (and perhaps the other assistant coaches from this season (Shane Arnold was one) looks a bit overbalanced but I dont think either Stiles or McGahan is probably the right person to mentor Thorn (nor would Stiles likely be interested as he would want to keep the job for himself). However, what I would like to avoid is a situation where Stiles is given some sort of mid-season target – win so many games or you are out. It is basically giving up on a season before it begins and only leads to further unrest. Make the hard call early if it is going to be made and go with it. If Thorn is there he may need a Director of Rugby type position to mentor him through some of the stuff he is not so familiar with – tactics etc – and I guess John Connolly wont be considered. But having said that he seems the sort of bloke who will seek out people like his former coaches (Henry, Hansen, Bennett) so maybe he doesn’t need a mentor. I have descended into “stream of conciousness” here so I had better go but I think during the process I have convinced myself Thorn is the man. If not now then eventually.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate while I agree 100% on all of what you have said about Thorn I can’t help but wonder if any of that makes him a good coach of a rugby team. In my mind he doesn’t have the proven cridentials needed to take a team at this level to success. If you look at all the successful coaches in any of the teams that have won they have all worked as a coach in other competitions, or under a successful head coach, where they have learnt the skills needed to be successful.
          Thorn is a great guy and he certainly has a presence but I’m not sure he actually knows how to be a coach.

        • Brisneyland Local

          His coaching of the QLD U21 was very successful. Whilst not the same as SR, he demonstrates a very successful. His run with QLD country is proving to be very successful. He is in the team environment of Qld already so has the trust of the players.
          Dont get me wrong, I know it is an early step up and a vertical learning challenge for him. But if any one can do it he can. Besides the others on offer wont achieve better. Also another two crap years and the Reds will go the way of the Force. as the ARU wont be able to bail them out as they will be broke too!

        • Who?

          Reds won’t ever go the way of the Force – they have enough votes on the ARU board to avoid that. ;-)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah that’s true. Also despite his lack of experience there’s no way he could be any worse than what they currently have or plan to have next year. I feel your pain.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep it is painful, but I would rather invest in potential, and some one who is culturally solid! I dont know Brad Thorn well, but watched him one night at a function when he was a Bronco, run out of patience with another well known Bronco’s players continual bad behaviour, lift him up against the wall or a cabinet by his throat. It scared the crap out of him and all of the other Broanco players, and that type of bad behaviour ceased to exist in a team environment. At least whilst BT was there.
          Culturally strong, with good morals, and high set standards that are enforced would be a really good starting point for the Reds.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Or the Wallabies

        • Brisneyland Local

          Not or, and. I do not see Cheika as the solution. I would love to see Thorn in the Wallabies job one day. But Cheika, if he loses in SA for the next match needs to go. His record is appalling, and his build for the world cup is not a trajectory to success.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think both the Boys and the Argies will be hard at home. I can see what Hansen is doing but it’s certainly a big risk. Still at least he has a long term plan

        • mikado

          Argentina pose no threat to either Australia or NZ. The Boks will be difficult for Australia, but need a miraculous improvement to threaten NZ. I’m pleased (in a masochistic kind of a way) that Hansen is resting players. There was a danger that the current team get too settled, making it too difficult for others to get a chance.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’m always wary of the Boss at home. I think they can step up and if we’re not careful we could be ambushed. I tend to agree on the Argies they really seem to have gone backwards and when Creevy leaves the field they just disappear

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep like all things with Aus rugby, there is no plan! the emporer is standing there butt naked!

        • Parker

          And about to pick up the soap.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Best laugh of the day!

        • Ad-O

          Those stories are all well and good, but what is he like tactically? How does he change a game to his advantage using the bench? What’s his program for improving players skills and decision making? Even with the best intentions, have his ideas been tested in a competitive match when the stakes are high? Thorn has massive potential as a coach but need the space to learn away from the pressure of the limelight.

        • Gottsy

          Yeah I think he’s got all the right tools to be a great coach too, but I think a lot of aspiring coaches have come unstuck when it comes to transitioning to the head coach role. Basically I want to give him and the reds the best possible chance to succeed, and I would hate to see him get dragged over the coals by what has been a bit of a sub-standard organisation there at the reds

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true Gottsy, and I agree with what you have written. I am worried though with the way the Reds work, that if the install an interim coach for lets say 12-24 months, to shape the way for Thorn to pick up the role. something will happen in the interim where the QRU will fuck up (as per usual) and we lose Thorn. In my mind this is a very highly likely scenario. I for one dont have faith in QRU, But if any one has the capacity and capability to step up it is Brad Thorn. He is a living breathing legend. I spoke to him a few weeks ago in the que for the supermarket check out (turns out he lives around the corner). I am 6’8″ and 120kgs, and even I felt intimidated standing next to him. He speaks so considerately and in a balanced manner. He exudes confidence and spreads it around him. I want to see him in the job. I acknowledge the risks, but I think they can be mitigated, and it is worth it.

        • Gottsy

          Well, you’ve got me convinced!

  • Kiap

    Would their other “easy” option be to give Totality Tony the main coaching gig?

    Just askin’.

    You never know with Queensland Rugby.

    • I’ve heard he doesn’t want it.

      • dru

        Now that is interesting Sully. Doesn’t want the head gig, but does want a role back at home?

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Well the QRU are at it again. And with all things related to the QRU it is self inflicted.
    Firstly great article Sully, it will promote some really good discussion and I am glad you have written it.
    Before I launch in to my points in no particular order let me set the scene.
    1. I am a NSWelshman born and bred!
    2. I have lived in Qld now on and off for 20 years.
    3. My wife and children are Qld’ers!
    4. Of the 20 odd years that I have lived here I have been a Reds members for about 15 of those years.
    My points:
    – The QRU’s recruiting process for both players and coaches is appalling. Has been for decades and will continue to be.
    – As much as the QRU cries foul over the nepotism of NSWRU they are just as bad. If not worse.
    – When they do an internation world wide search for the best coaching candidates, that means they will never look further than their own car park. Then they re-appointment the same fuckwit (Woody Graham). Holy crap batman!
    – They next time we do a world wide search for a coach we get some potential big hitters on th list, and the QRU dont even actually interview them. WTF. Christ if I ran any of my companies this way they baord would have me committed to an asylum! It is almost criminally incompetent.
    – I dont know Nick stiles personally, but his coaching record is poor. the facts speak for themselves. Regardless about whether he has been given a fair go or not, is irrellevant! He shouldnt have gotten the job in the first place.
    – Only a Queenslander knows how to coach the Reds. Is a statement released by the QRU many times. Half of the problem with Qld Rugby, is the QRU!
    Moving Forward:
    – Brad Thorn is the right man for the job. Regardless of his lack of head coach experience, one must know what right looks like! And no in the QRU does. None of them have had the success that he has had. None of them have been surrounded by, inculcated to, and behoved to the levels of success that this man has.
    – Set him up with assistants for the development of him and the team.
    – Give him the free riegn required to do the job. I.E. empower him!
    – Watch the team develop.
    the Reds have the cattle in the paddock to be successful. But like most of Australian rugby the thing holding it back is the coaching and the administration. why? Because they are shit!
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      And they compounded the self inflicting nightmare by signing the only coach in the Super Rugby with a record as appalling as Graham – McGahan.

      Mate I don’t agree on Thorn as he has no success to back anything up but I do agree he can’t be worse than what they have had over the last couple of years. I just think if he goes in too early then he may have such a shit time he’ll walk away whereas getting him on a pathway where he can learn the trade, be mentored by a “:good” coach and develop his skills and then in a few years he’ll be the man of choice.

      • Brisneyland Local

        If he was going to be mentored by a good coach he would have to go back over to NZ for that.

        • Andy

          With the talent they have they need to get a guy like White or even pull Mckenzie out of the cave he’s been hiding in. Give the club some direction and winning game plan.

        • Brisneyland Local


    • Rocky Elboa

      Martin Johnson anyone?

      • Brisneyland Local

        I dont think even he is that crazy!

        • Rocky Elboa

          Was more thinking of the parallels and failure of throwing a former player with coaching potential in before they are ready

        • Garry

          Tell Brad to bring his boots.

          Just in case.

  • idiot savant

    Surely Thorn could not be worse? And what this country needs is coaches from somewhere else who aren’t hostage to the croneyist allegiances that bedevil our game (that goes for the Wallabies coach as well). At some point we have to break that cultural cycle because its killing the game.

    Im sure Nick tried his guts out but at the end of the day I do wonder about his judgement. Some things I noticed were:

    Singling out Frisby and publicly shaming him, destroying his confidence when the Reds had actually been very competitive in the first 3 games with him as halfback. Frankly the Reds clearances were never the same after that.

    The public disciplining of Frisby and Ready seemed more about Stiles trying to show how tough he was. Real tough guys don’t have to do that. And did he apply the same toughness to asking why his pack kept dropping off in the last 20 or take Cooper up on his going AWOL in matches?

    Playing G Smith for 80 mins in every game. I thought the point of bringing in an octogenarian was to tutor young players? How many minutes did Gunn get? How was his development accelerated? Did Stiles think he could be the hero coach and take a side that had been performing poorly to the finals in his first year by playing Smith in every game? Pride comes before… Any board who expected that also have no idea.

    Being close mates with Cooper. He’s his coach, not his shoe shopping pal.
    Not making defensive structures a priority.
    Not getting them fit enough.

    Towards the end of the season he did blood youngsters (though none at 7) , forgive Frisby, and take a more sensible approach to building a competitive team for the future, but it was too little, too late.

    As I said, I think Nick has given it his all and deserves respect, and ideally Thorn should have a year or two more of ‘learnings’ as the kiwis say. However there is scant evidence that Nick is the man, so perhaps those ‘learnings’ might have to happen on the job. And please lets be realistic about expectations.

    • McWarren

      You make some fair points but I think dropping one green horn coach for another isn’t the answer. I think Stile has potential, and I think the year and a half of experience would be wasted if he gets the chop.

      I wonder if his selection of Smith permanently through the season is a direct result of having played with and against him, and almost being overawed by him. Watching Gunn in City v Vikings in the weekend I was lamenting what could have been. With regards Frisby, the player needs to take as much responsibility as the coach. I don’t think Frisby has had many favours since he got slotted into 10 by Woodie. i think Tuttle did an exceptional job and I am delighted that Genia is going to the Rebels do that we can keep our current three youngsters.

      For me Stiles main issue was the signing of Moore and Smith. I don’t know how much input he had into it but it seemed he didn’t know how to best utilise them. I suspect they got in the way of him developing his youngsters. And that the naming and shaming was a bit of chest beating for older guys benefit.

      I don’t agree with this assumption that Stiles and all our other coaches are caught up in the jobs for the boys accusations. To think that is too basically right of all BPR and Shute Shield coaches and the pathway we are looking for.

  • dru

    So our coaching options seem to be, a big steaming pile of dung on one side; and a big steaming pile of dung (with an expensive $payout) on the other.

    Which will the QRU choose?

    And the QRU being the same group propping up the ARU through the debacle that was Soup 2017.

    I’d like to understand what went on with S&C and Thorne before they announce this one. TT seems an odd choice, if he is looking at the admin side, maybe, but if he’s actually coaching, how does his CV look at the moment? Ditto for Mooney, is this simply Knuckles part 2?

  • Bakkies

    ‘John Connolly (1989–2000)
    Mark McBain (2001–02)
    Andrew Slack (2003)
    Jeff Miller (2004–06)’

    And they blame the Force for targeting players.

    That’s why they left not the Force recruitment focus on the Reds. The Tarts and Brumbies also signed Reds back then too.

  • Ad-O

    I have an idea. If they’re going to appoint someone with no Super or Euro experience, why not promote a guy who’s been doing the business at Premier or NRC level. Hell, I’d even take a guy from Shute Shield or ITM Cup.
    This idea that (IMHO) the most prestigious rugby province in the country, competing in the toughest provincial comp in the world, should be coached by a guy with 0 games in charge of any team, anywhere, is a farce.
    This just proves why Oz rugby is a joke. The last time we had an experienced guy in charge we won the comp. The last time the Waratahs (excuse my language) put an experienced guy in charge they won the comp. Clearly after 22 years of professionalism not a single aspect of other rubbed off on the QRU. You guys think the Force debacle was a disgrace? The Reds are the biggest disgrace in Oz rugby with all the talent we produce,with all the advantages we have, and with all the shite we play out on the pitch.
    I have massive respect for Thorn but mate, go win something with Brothers or Sunnybank before you go anywhere near my Reds.

  • Who?

    I don’t think it’s time to change. I don’t think Stiles understood what he was winning when he got the role. I don’t think he was necessarily well supported. And I think there’s clear growth needed. However, he’s won two titles at the level down, and that shows he’s not completely useless. I think he needs another year. If no progress, no signs of improvement (not necessarily wins, but proof of improvement in structures/standards), then it’s pretty obvious, he’s got to go.
    Signing McGahan… I don’t see that’s necessarily helpful. His record at the Rebels is terrible – his ‘star’ players debuted strongly and went backwards every year. The only way I could see him improving things would be if he took a job writing standards/structures/game plans/etc. But no hands on role.
    I think many – including in the coaching game – think that coaching’s an easy job. But it’s not. It’s like teaching. There’s levels that people don’t understand. You can be a great coach/teacher, relating really well with the kids/players, very able to guide them, but that doesn’t mean you know where to take them. Or that you can put together a session. Or that you are strong across every skillset/discipline. Which is why assistants are key. And which is where even good coaches a level down – even people who’ve been assistants at the level up – can struggle with understanding how to pull together the full team. Because no one can cover off all the roles required.
    With that being the case, whilst I see Thorn as an excellent head coach, I don’t want him rushed. I don’t want him being pushed into a team that’s not ready, with a support structure that’s not ready. And then getting burned, just like the majority of blokes ahead of him in the list (Slack, Miller, Mooney). I think Stiles has earned a real shot, and I hope he uses the off season to figure out what HE needs (not the cronies that the QRU thinks he needs – which may mean no Tony, and if he doesn’t want Tony, then Tony shouldn’t have been hired), and manages to put in place the structures he needs to help him develop the team the way he believes they can win.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Signing McGahan has got to be the stupidest decision since extending Graham. I don’t know WTF the Queensland board are doing but making smart decisions on the future of rugby for Queensland certainly isn’t up there.

  • Bernie Chan

    Between the proverbial “rock and a hard place”…! As noted by others, the dubious processes continue unabated at QRU HQ (who does their KPI review…?). Personally have no gripe with Stiles per se (and he did well as the Bris City NRC coach..)…but to appoint an inexperienced Head Coach AND to lumber him with less experienced Assistant Coaches is almost “What not to do #101″. Like many, I think Thorn will be a fabulous Head Coach in due course (he certainly has gravitas and a resume everyone respects…) but should the Reds go from one coach who is “learning-on-the-job” to another? Maybe it would be best to let Thorn gain another year of experience so that he does not cop such instantaneous pressure as the Reds’ “saviour”…? Whoever gets the gig should also choose his own assistants…live and die by their own sword so to speak. BTW…apparently Stiles and McGahan are best mates, so will McGahan be party to the demise of Stiles? Maybe the QRU should have just re-appointed Link once he lost the Wallas gig…

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    While I have a lot of respect for Brad Thorn, I’m not sure he has the coaching cridentials to run a Super team yet? I must admit part of that is beacuse I haven’t seen anything he’s done in the coaching realm but then that’s because he actually hasn’t done anything except be part of the Reds caoching team. IMO if the Reds want to improve they need to get a successful coach who has demonstrated success at a couple of different levels and who is able to show the path forward that is needed and then how he/she will get there. I think that with the current lack of coaching pathways in Australia this will need to come from overseas.
    I hope like hell they aren’t already planning for a mid year change as that would be beyond stupid.

  • MungBean

    Once again many of the problems at the Reds can (IMHO) be traced to recruitment. The parachuting of a bunch of old heads in the form of Moore, Smith etc in one go was a big mistake (particularly given Slipper’s injury which couldn’t have been foreseen). Having come from differing clubs and comps, they’d have all had differing and well established views on how they wanted a team to to be run. The leadership group would’ve been fractured from the outset. They need to be built up over time.

    Link developed a coherent team culture with an identifiable grassroots leadership group. They clearly had faith in the coaching regime and each other. Then the incestuous twits at QRU went and ruined it by putting in their golden boy, RG, and a mass exodus followed.

    In that respect, I do feel that Stiles has has been thrown a hospital pass, but I actually see him as part of the problem because he’s a product of that nepotistic system.

  • Gipetto

    Buy Johann Ackermann

  • nmpcart

    The McGahan signing seems odd, although he does have a lot of experience in being involved in different setups so having that experience without the pressure of being head coach could be beneficial. Coaching is a tough gig, and I think it takes more than having been a great player or being scary – let

  • Pclifto


    Why was Eddie Jones so shit during his (admittedly short 1 year) tenure at Queensland?

    You could say he took over someone else’s team and didn’t have the time to put his own stamp on it, but he turned around England in next to no time…

    Feels like the riddle of the sphinx to me!

    • Who?

      Eddie did background work. Word is he put months of work into Quade, and that paid off in 2011.
      Phil Gould (yeah, I know) said years ago (when I once watched League) that it takes 12 months to put your stamp on a team. And I think, largely, he’s right.
      However, if there are good fundamentals, then that process can be completed faster. That’s what happened with Eddie in England. Much of what needed to be done was already done, things just fell apart for Lancaster at the RWC. The squad was mostly right, he changed captain, instituted new structures that suited the squad he had… It worked.
      2007 Reds were very thin for experienced talent.
      2007 Springboks – where he consulted – were mostly strong, but needed finishing touches. And they won the RWC…

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Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to

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