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'He looks like a choirboy': Brad Thorn on what he respects most about Reds new flyhalf

Teammate's Tom Lynagh (Right) and Suliasi Vunivalu (left) of the Reds during the round two Super Rugby Pacific match between Western Force and Queensland Reds at AAMI Park, on March 05, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Queensland playmaker Tom Lynagh continues to prove he’s no “nepo baby” with another rousing performance in the Reds’ crushing Super Rugby Pacific win over the Western Force.


The 19-year-old son of Wallabies great Michael Lynagh showed the trendy term, given to offspring of the famous afforded special opportunities through nepotism, does not apply.

His showing in the Reds’ 71-20 victory at AAMI Park on Sunday will create a selection headache for coach Brad Thorn ahead of their clash with the Brumbies, with Wallabies veteran James O’Connor also impressing off the bench.

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As well as orchestrating Queensland’s rampant attack, Lynagh pulled off a try-saving tackle in the first half that stalled any hope of a Force fightback.

Lynagh shifted from his home town of London when he finished school to follow in his father’s footsteps at Queensland, making his Super debut last week.

Thorn said he wasn’t surprised by what the youngster brought to the game.

“I’m not surprised by it, but I’m pleased by it. I had belief,” Thorn said.


“A 17-year-old comes across the other side of the world with a pretty heavy last name and grits his teeth.

“One month in he did an army camp, he came from living in London and he’s got people yelling at him, and the heat and the different culture.

“I held that in high regard. You can’t have anything but respect for someone who backs themselves.

“He’s quiet and unassuming but he gets stuff done.”


As a former All Blacks forward, Thorn liked the way Lynagh was prepared to get his hands dirty.

“He looks like a choirboy, he could be 14, but I see him kick the goals and carry well, but the stuff I’ve noticed with him that I’ve liked, around 10s I’ve played with, is that he’s not afraid to put his head in a ruck and he’ll put his body on the line in a tackle.

“It doesn’t mean he’s going to do some big hit or some big clean-out but he will put himself in there and you respect that.

“Guys like (former England five-eighth) Jonny Wilkinson, they were small guys but they put their bodies on the line.”


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