The Queensland Reds are reportedly exploring the possibilities of moving towards a centralised operating model with Rugby Austraila reports the Courier Mail, after a downward spiral since 2013 has seen the 2011 champions fall quickly to the bottom of Super Rugby.
One of the desired outcomes is to have Brad Thorn as a long-term head coach according to QRU chairman Jeff Miller.
“We want Brad Thorn as a 10-year head coach but it’s up to us to create the right high-performance environment for him to want to,” Miller said.
“We are very supportive of Brad and the cultural change he has brought to the squad with some tough decisions.
“Having a team show strong levels of commitment and pride, as it has done, was a large part of his signing last year.
“It’s disappointing the Reds offer so much yet have been up or down and the QRU wants to provide the right support to be consistently better.”
The instability at Ballymore has seen four head coaches in five years, at one point running with a ‘CIHC’ arrangement – co-interim head coaches. Miller believes arresting the fall of the Reds will be possible with long-term structures in place, which has opened up the discussion around centralisation and a closer relationship with Rugby Australia.
Those discussions won’t be without resistance, as Queensland rugby’s autonomy has been tightly held. Ireland’s high-performance chief David Nucifora addressed the QRU board recently and Scotland’s director of rugby is set to do the same.
“You look at New Zealand, Ireland and Scotland and there are very successful alignments between the national and provincial levels for the benefit of both,” Miller said.
“One thing Nucifora said was ‘don’t be afraid of strong alignment’.
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