Chief executive David Hanham has hit out, claiming Reds coach Brad Thorn is “not a team player.” He has raised concerns with Rugby Australia boss Andy Marinos after an unnamed source was quoted in a Sydney Morning Herald article.
Earlier this week, Thorn stated that he would like to coach the Wallabies, potentially creating a scenario where he and Dan McKellar contest to replace Dave Rennie whenever he leaves.
“If the opportunity presented itself at the right time later down the track, I would be honoured to coach the Wallabies, but that’s for other people to make that decision,” Thorn told the Herald.
But the same article also quoted an RA source that said Thorn had been unaccommodating when it came to “high-performance changes” thought to revolve around a move towards a more centralized system than exists in New Zealand.
“In getting greater changes around high-performance coaching, Thorn has not been good to work with,” the Herald said. “He has not been a team player. A decision doesn’t have to be made now, but he had better turn that around quickly.”
Those comments have angered the Reds, with Hanham on Wednesday night expressing his frustrations with the leak from head office.
“On behalf of the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU), I would like to refute recent comments made by an unnamed Rugby Australia (RA) source in The Sydney Morning Herald,” Hanham said.
“It’s disappointing to see these comments, and after reading this, I have raised my concerns with RA CEO Andy Marinos, who will follow up directly.
“From the QRU’s perspective, Brad is doing a wonderful job here in Queensland leading our football program and developing our players to be best prepared for national and international success with the Queensland Reds and Wallabies.”
Thorn had enjoyed great success in Queensland, having begun his coaching career with the organization in the now-defunct National Rugby Championship when he was at the helm of Queensland Country.