Nick Stiles named Queensland Reds coach - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Nick Stiles named Queensland Reds coach

Nick Stiles named Queensland Reds coach

The Queensland Reds have today named Nick Stiles as head coach on a two year deal for 2017-2018.

The announcement comes after a worldwide search by a coach selection panel to replace Richard Graham who was sacked earlier in the season. Stiles had been co-interim head coach alongside Matt O’Connor for the 2016 since Graham was sacked.

Stiles has been in the Reds pathways over a number of years including 96 caps at Super Rugby level and has 11 years coaching experience across various teams and levels. His most recent success saw Brisbane City claim two NRC titles, including an undefeated campaign in 2015

Daniel Herbert, QRU Executive General Manager of the Reds, said “The panel and Board considered a number of strong candidates and ultimately determined Nick to have the right attributes to take this group forward.

“He is a passionate Queenslander who understands the DNA of Queensland Rugby. He is an experienced coach who has proven to be technically astute and has a strong record of developing players both young and old. Nick is a good leader, who has turned the Reds set pieces into one of the more statistically dominant in Super Rugby.

The appointment sees Matt O’Connor released to pursue other opportunities with the Western Force a possible destination.

Stiles coaching history:
March 2016-July 2016: Co-interim head coach – Queensland Reds, Super Rugby
2014-2016: Forwards coach – Queensland Reds, Super Rugby
2014-2015: Head coach – Brisbane City, National Rugby Championship
2011-2013: Forwards coach – Western Force, Super Rugby
2007-2010: Forwards coach – Kubota Spears, Japanese Top League
2006-2007: Head coach – University of Queensland, Queensland Premier Grade

Main photo credit: Meggie Whitchurch/QRU

  • Dud Roodt

    I have no real opinion on Stiles as a coach, as I don’t know what he’s been dealing with up there, and don’t know what his coaching pedigree has been over the years since he stopped playing.
    But, I feel like this could have been a great opportunity to hire a top level coach that would attract the best players and the supporters trust.
    Having said that, I wish him all the best. I’m a Tahs supporter, but a stronger QRU (and every other Aussie team) is the best thing for the Wallabies

  • Seb V

    His coaching history doesn’t look too flash, but their is still hope. A solid backs coach is needed.

    • Train Without A Station

      He’s been a good set piece coach and coached a dominant NRC team.

      Personally I think he’s 2 years too soon and am concerned about him not winning any more than 50% of the games as a premier grade head coach.

      • Seb V

        Is NRC really a decent measure for coach though? The fact he has never been involved in a successful campaign at the highest level is pretty poor. Eg. Only coached at the Force and Reds under Graham. At least if he had coached under McKenzie at the Reds he could have learned a thing or two. Seems like the only thing he could possibly have learned is “what not to do”.

        • Train Without A Station

          It’s all you’ve got to indicate what they can do when given full control though.

          Dave Rennie had 1 year as a Super Rugby assistant a decade before he came to the Chiefs. It was the Hurricanes and they finished 9th that year.

          He coached Manawatu for 7 seasons where they won a total of 10 games in the 5 top div seasons, won the 2nd div his first year and were relegated to 2nd div for his last year.

          You can’t know everything but there’s 4 strong NRC squad. None of them have managed to only drop 1 game in 2 seasons though. There’s very little more he could possibly do with that team.

        • Seb V

          Well I’ve basically come to the conclusion that Stiles as a HC is a complete unknown with little experience. Hard for me to believe he is a better candidate over Blackadder, but anyone is better then the current system. No reason he can’t succeed either. Hope he does well.

        • Train Without A Station

          Has Blackadder been overrated perhaps?

          The Crusaders were a little better before he took over. He’s not universally highly rated in NZ.

          Are other teams falling over to try and sign him?

        • first time long time

          I find the NZ super rugby coaches hard to judge as the teams are all so good.
          I would have liked to see someone from outside the current Reds setup to hopefully get more of a reboot and maybe give them a bit more sway (real or perceived) over the way they want things done. Whether Blackadder was the man or not, I am worried that the same old rot may continue with Stiles.
          But gotta back him all the way now and good luck to him.

        • Seb V

          I think so TWAS, but being exposed to that set-up, arguably the most successful club team in the world, has its advantages. He certainly didn’t lead them into failure but he didn’t get any trophies either. So I’d say he’s in a neutral position at the minimum.

        • Train Without A Station

          Yeah he didn’t do a Graham at least!

        • Dan54

          Actually Bath have already signed him Train, not sure how good a coach he is etc, but think he took job vefore Reds appointment was made anyway.
          That not really the point anyway, Stiles has got the job for whatever reason, and should get full support to do best job he can.

        • Blackfish

          Reds had best success from a coach that had nothing in common with the Queensland DNA. What’s Herbert on about.

  • Big Ted

    Jobs for the boys trend continues in Australian Rugby…much to our continued detriment.

    • boris

      Yes and if O’Connor goes to the Force then it is just going to emphasise that culture

  • Happyman

    Damm I had my money on Blackadder. I think Stiles is highly capable however my big issue is that the worldwide search did not leave Herston again.

    Realistically the Reds do have a good Squad of young players going forward with a mix of old hard heads who are winners coming back.

    If you looks at the Brisbane NRC team they have been relatively uninspiring in terms of their enterprise and have won based on forward dominance. Hopefully he has the intellectual rigour to embrace a game that will be worth attending because this year I did not even want my money back I wanted my time back.

    Brad Thorn and some of the assistant coaches will be interesting. But lets be real people they have some big structural and cultural issues to deal with.

    If he can get us to mid table next year I will be happy.

  • Juan

    Any tips as to whether this will help or hinder the likelihood that Quade Cooper will join the Reds next year?

    • Nick Gregory

      This is probably the next most important part of the equation IMO. Say what you want about Quade’s ability to play football; but there’s no denying that his off-field behaviour has improved 100 fold, he is fantastic with grassroots events (Rookies to Reds etc), and puts bums on seats like no other Reds player in recent history.

      • Straith


  • Tim

    disappointing i would have loved to see him as the forwards coach and have the crusaders coach as the head coach. We need the best coaches in the super rugby not the best Australian coaches

  • Notwithstanding that I’m a Waratahs supporter, I’m far more optimistic than most. People are down-playing his record, but you can only do what you can in the structures in which you are operating. He had success with the Force forwards, he had some success with the QLD forwards, he has had two winning seasons as an NRC coach. That, to me, is an indicator that he can harness what he has and be successful at it.

    Only one coach each year can win the Super title. Until the competition structure changes again and becomes fairer (2020?), I don’t think an Australian coach will do that. So how could we define success? Top nine in an eighteen team comp after the last few years would be a real success and is achievable. Based on his record that would seem to be possible/likely. No one ever knows for sure how he will go until next season is over, but he looks like he could make a real go of it.

  • #sunwolvesin2017

    Shame. His Super Rugby coaching record is dismal. have they not learnt that the Reds is not somewhere to put in a green head coach. No respect from the players or fans. I fell sorry for him. What about Black Adder, Deans, Laurie Fisher!!!!! sigh. another year at the bottom of the table.

  • SuckerForRed

    OK. My thoughts on the matter:

    Part of me is going “YAY!” because I really do rate Stiles as a coach. And that is not just because he is good to talk to from a fan perspective.

    Part of me is nervous because, as a few of you have said, it appears the “Worldwide search” has again struggled to exit the Ballymore car park. But, when Graham was appointed I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt so I will do the same thing with Stiles.

    Everybody keeps mentioning Blackadder – Do we know he applied? Do we know if he would have said yes if approached? The very different structures in NZ and Aust rugby I think make it difficult for NZ Coaches to get their head around coaching here.

  • Paul

    Hard to judge him until he’s had a full season as head coach under his belt, but I wish him and the Reds all the best. I’ll be looking forward to seeing how George Smith goes next year.

    The Reds finished 2016 with 3 wins, 11 losses and a draw, earning 17 points in total – good enough for 15th. The bars been set pretty low, but I’m sure he can do better than that!

  • Brisneyland Local

    Ok good luck to Stiles, and good luck to the Reds!
    They bloody well need it. As others have mentioned as many of you will know, I bang on about this all the time! The QRU is a shit fight and so damn insular. For others that asked Blackadder definitely was in the mix and was interviewed. But with all things QRU related I am pretty sure this is done to try and demonstrate that this was a real search. But it definitely wasn’t. It was only ever going to be one of the two interims, and they couldn’t do anything til the season was over to prevent the unsuccessful candidate from departing early!
    As Daniel Herbert said it is all about the Qld Rugby DNA. I have to point out the fact that the DNA of QLD Rugby and the QRU is the farking problem. The sooner they understand this the more chance they have of beginning to fix the problem.
    It is all about QLD. However it really should be about finding the best possible candidate. Not the best Qld’er who will continue to be a lapdog to the QRU.
    Hopefully the only positive out of this is that a line has been drawn in the sand and we can attempt to move forward.
    Also hopefully Quade will make the decision to come home.
    QC, Brad Thorne, George Smith, Stephen Moore as experienced players that can help to shape the juniors in the team.
    Fingers crossed everyone it is a brave new world, that is still inbred!

  • Qualify

    If Brad Thorne is the forwards coach and they get a decent backs coach… a few upsets might be possible next season.

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