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Les Kiss unveils new Reds coaching team with heavy London Irish flavour

By AAP
London Irish Head Coach, Les Kiss ahead of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between London Irish and Exeter Chiefs at Gtech Community Stadium on May 06, 2023 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Queensland Reds coach Les Kiss has followed through on his touted coaching clean-out, replacing all of former mentor Brad Thorn’s assistants ahead of his first Super Rugby Pacific campaign.

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Kiss has brought on former London Irish colleagues Brad Davis and Jonathan Fisher as well as Tonga assistant Zane Hilton.

He has also expanded the role of Reds Academy coach Dale Roberson.

They replace long-time attack coach Jim McKay – he served for nine years in two separate stints – as well as Phil Blake, Mick Heenan and Kane Hames who were brought in last season to assist in the final year of Thorn’s contract.

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Kiss said Fisher was “one of the best coaching talents in English rugby while former rugby league player Davis has enjoyed a similar path to rugby union coaching as former Queensland State of Origin winger Kiss.

Hilton, currently assisting Toutai Kefu at the World Cup, is a former Reds development officer with extensive international experience, most recently in Japan.

“It’s an integrated coaching group. All four bring great experience in their roles and while each has a technical lead, they will also work across different disciplines which will accelerate the process,” Kiss said on Friday.

“I’d like to acknowledge Jim McKay, Phil Blake, Mick Heenan and Kane Hames for their service to Queensland Rugby.

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“All have left the Reds in a better place and will leave a lasting impact on our squad into the future.”

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Kiss has recruited former All Blacks Alex Hodgman and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen to bolster a forward pack that will be missing Melbourne Rebels-bound Taniela Tupuo next season.

The Reds will host the Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights at a capped pre-season fixture at the redeveloped Ballymore on November 9.

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