Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn admits it would be tough if one of Izack Rodda, Harry Hockings or Isaac Lucas wind up at a rival Australian Super Rugby franchise. The trio left the Reds in May after refusing to agree to Super Rugby-wide pay cuts and are now free agents.
While Japanese clubs are tipped to sign utility back Lucas and lock Hockings, 23-year-old Rodda’s future is uncertain amid suggestion his preference would be to stay in Australia. Thorn said he was initially “gutted” by the trio’s decisions and he would find it hard if one of them signed on with another Australian team.
“That would be tough… that’d be disappointing,” Thorn said. “With all three of those guys you wish them well as young men. It’s not like you hate them or something.
“They’ve made decisions as young men and I don’t agree with those decisions but they’re the ones they’ve made … it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t talk to them or see them again in the future but, yeah, it’ s been disappointing.”
Thorn has previously denied reports of a rift with Rodda after the Wallabies lock was overlooked for the Reds’ captaincy. Despite his disappointment, Thorn said he’d moved on and was looking forward to developing the careers of those who will fill the roles left by the departed trio.
“You’ve just got to get on with it … there’s always been talent in Queensland, we believe in it and we’re going to keep on trying to bring the quality through,” he said. “Focus first on them as young men, second with their rugby and that’s what we’ve been doing.”
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