Brad Thorn says he’s never had an argument with Izack Rodda, denying reports of a rift that apparently drove the Wallabies lock away from the Queensland Reds along with two teammates.
Rodda, Harry Hockings and Isaac Lucas refused to agree to Super Rugby-wide pay cuts and, after being stood down last Monday, are now free agents after their Rugby Australia contracts were terminated on Saturday.
Rodda, 23, had been overlooked for the Reds captaincy this season and was said to be at odds with Thorn hence seeking a move to a rival Australian club.
But Thorn said the suggestion a soured relationship was behind the move irked him, maintaining they were on good terms.
“I spoke to Izack, he came around to my house on Saturday,” Thorn told Triple M.
“It’s been hard for me. I’ve seen in the media that (our relationship) is irreparable and we don’t get on.
“I’ve never had a problem with Izack and we’ve never had an argument.
“He … wanted to make it clear that stuff that was out there is not how he feels.
“These are the things that are frustrating.”
Rodda played for the Reds the day after the death of his father last year and even packed down next to Thorn in the second-tier NRC.
“With Izack, he’s a guy you care about a lot,” Thorn said.
“He’s come here from a young age and I even played next to him for a couple of games.
“He lost his father, I lost my dad at 19. We’ve had a lot of personal chats.”
Rodda and livewire back Lucas were contracted until 2023 while emerging lock Hockings was off contract but in the Wallabies’ future plans.
All three are managed by player-agent Anthony Picone, who last year engineered Reds captain Samu Kerevi’s move to Japanese rugby.
Thorn said he approached all three players to attempt to understand their position.
“I was like, ‘I don’t want you to go. What is doing? Do not do this. We care about you and you’ve been part of this thing. This isn’t the right way of doing stuff’.
“I know a few others spoke to them as well. They’re young men and they have to make decisions. You haven’t really heard from the three lads, so that’s something for them to think about.”
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