Former Brumbies assistant coach Owen Finegan says Nick Stiles and Matt O’Connor have a big opportunity as interim Queensland Reds coaches.
The pair have replaced Richard Graham as Queensland Reds coaches for the remainder of 2016 and Finegan told the rugby.com.au podcast that the appointment would be a good chance for the duo to show their potential.
“I coached with Matt O'Connor under Laurie Fisher, so it’s an opportunity for him,” he said.
“He went for the Brumbies job but didn’t get it and probably in all interests that was a good career move because he got experience in Leinster and Leicester in UK and Ireland and he’ll be a better coach for it.
“Nick Stiles is a really good couple of years with NRC team and a strength of the Queensland side has been the set piece and line outs.”
Finegan said transition would not necessarily be smooth, though.
“Structures and systems have been put in place by a coach (that is leaving), that’s where it’s going to be difficult to turn around,” he said.
“They’ve got two great assistant coaches and over the last three, four months they’ve been preparing someone else’s game plan.
“As an Australian Rugby player you actually hope the Queensland Reds come back to where they were four or five years as Super Rugby champions, because it would be better for Australian Rugby.”
Finegan said the Reds could follow the example of the Brumbies in recent years, who turned their own fortunes around after installing Jake White as coach in 2009.
“It makes sense to go and look at who’s in the market and what...they need in Queensland as far as (having) a profile coach and someone with the experience of changing a culture and making it a winning culture, as it was previously.”
Listen to the full interview below, along with a Las Vegas Sevens wrap with Sevens coach Andy Friend.