Brad Thorn has revealed he’s constantly questioning his decision to coach the Reds in a fascinating post-game interview with Stan Sport.
The legendary double-coded athlete hung up playing shoes at 40 and quickly rose through the coaching ranks to win the Queensland Super Rugby concert in 2018.
Its introduction was difficult, to say the least, abandoning big stars like Quade Cooper, Karmichael Hunt and James Slipper and investing in local youth and long-term cultural reconstruction.
After some predictable start-up issues, Queensland’s patience to stick with Thorn has paid off, reaching last year’s AU Super Rugby final and resting enough in 2021 with a perfect 6-0 record.
Tongan Thor on the rampage
The Reds smoked the Rebels 44-19 in Melbourne on Saturday night as the gritty-voiced coach finally allowed himself a smile.
And a glimpse of him grappling with his own career choices in a post-game conversation with Nick McArdle, Michael Cheika and Morgan Turinui.
Former Wallabies supreme Cheika has followed with keen interest Thorn’s transition from a somewhat reluctant coach to a man now enjoying his job.
“You did it mate, there are so many times I’ve said ‘God, why am I here, why am I doing this?’ I came back to Brisbane and my plan was maybe a few years, to network and find out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life, you know, different work.
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“But it sort of worked that this situation happened,” Thorn told Cheika.
“For me the nicest thing is just the long game. Just persevere and have a group of people, the staff around me, how tight we are. I didn’t understand the staff, I thought the training was right on the ground.
“Anything that the players don’t understand, you know, we’re coming home. The staff are so important and we’re really tight. This COVID situation has made us even tighter and the narrowness of the squad … all that is good in rugby. “
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Thorn went on to explain how he was able to put together a team that seems capable of emulating the achievements of the famous class of 2011.
“I thought if it was money they would go somewhere else,” Thorn said.
“So there were two things that I worked hard on. Queensland, 140 years of rugby but it could be netball, tennis, whatever. Everyone knows Queensland, everyone knows it is Brown.”
“And the camaraderie. For me the best thing about rugby at 6 and then when I was 40 is the camaraderie, the camaraderie that I love.
“So that’s what I insisted on. I just care what you’re a part of – that must mean something.”
Thorn has not been shy about calling the Rebels their best of the season as they contemplate another tantalizing clash with defending champion Brumbies next weekend.
“I was like the sour guy, I haven’t been happy in five games,” Thorn said.
“Tonight, so much happier.”
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