Recently announced Queensland Reds assistant coach Brad Thorn believes new signing Caleb Timu will make a quicker progression to Union than himself.
Thorn had one of the most decorated professional careers in Rugby having played both League and Union for over 20 years, having won three Premierships with the Broncos as well as a Rugby World Cup and five Bledisloes throughout his 59 Tests for the All Blacks.
Timu has found the perfect mentor as he looks to follow a similar path to Thorn having played Australian Schoolboys in 2011 before signing with the Broncos after high school.
“Brad Thorn has been a really good mentor over the last couple of days,” Timu said.
“I don’t see any problems about re-learning the game and being really supported and being developed as a Rugby player here.”
Thorn has been working closely with the Reds new-recruit and speaks highly about the 112kg backrower.
“He’s a fine young man, I don’t mind guys with League backgrounds,” Thorn joked.
“The thing that surprised me about Caleb is how quickly he’s adjusted.
“I came to New Zealand as a nine-year-old. People said that I had played a bit of Rugby but I had only played U6’s and U8’s and then at 25 I tried to play Super Rugby.
“For me I was really starting from the bottom. I’d imagine it would be a lot quicker progression for Caleb.” He said.
Timu will be eased into the Reds senior team and he transitions back to the 15-man game but has intimated a reluctance to play Sunday games because of his Mormon beliefs.
The 22-year old has spoken with Canterbury Bulldogs winger and fellow Mormon Will Hopoate who has declared he won’t be available for NRL games on a Sunday due to his beliefs.
“If I need to play on Sunday’s I will,” Timu said.
“For myself I don’t have the same contract agreement as him.
“If I had the choice I wouldn’t play Sunday’s and that’s one of my strong beliefs, but I understand that my situation is a little bit different.” He said.
Timu will continue to work on his skills at Ballymore until the main squad return from their two-week tour of South Africa.